FOI request (FOIR-199830476)
Contractors, consultants, sub-contractors & suppliers
Requested Fri 24 April 2020
Responded Mon 08 June 2020
Under the Freedom of Information Act, please could I request a full list of all main contractors, consultants, sub-contractors and suppliers (including postal address/postcode and office telephone number details which are already in the public domain so if not effected by GDPR) that are or have provided the following services to the council either as a pre-qualified contractor or as an external procurement contract under a main contractor awarded by the council with new build construction/engineering/maintenance works current and completed since January 2019.
Internal and external paint decorating
Maintenance and minor works
Asbestos works (surveying, testing and removal)
Windows (including aluminium)
Green Space Works
Hard and soft landscaping
Highways and Civil Engineering
Sewerage and drainage
Security and Alarm Services
Car park barrier systems
These details can be found in the health and safety documents (which are required by law), if you cannot locate the details in house can you please request the directly from the Principle Contractors as the are covered under F.O.I as working on behalf of yourselves as a government body and is therefore deemed that any information they hold in relation to this is held on your behalf.
This request has been made under advice from the commissioner's office.
Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding.
Hastings Borough Council are a relatively small urban borough council and our main buildings are just the Town Hall and an operational office building, Muriel Matters House which was fully refurbished within the last 5 years.
We have a minor works contract which is due to be reviewed in 10 months time. There has only been 1 major new build project since January 2019 and that is the Hastings Country Park Visitor Centre which is due to be completed by late summer 2020. This was a building contract that required specialist contractors in straw bale build.
The council uses only one select suppliers list and that is Constructionline. This is because Constructionline vet the suppliers on admittance and a rolling basis. We also have access to the South East shared portal: https://in-tendhost.co.uk/sesharedservices/aspx/Home which covers all of the councils in East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey and is completely free (that is to say no registration charges or later commissions) for suppliers to register on and should take about 15 minutes.
NOTICE OF REFUSAL
The information you have requested relating to company supplier names is commercially sensitive and falls under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act - Commercially Sensitive Information.
Information prejudicing commercial interests - commercial interest relating to an organisations commercial activity and may include trading activity procurement and relationships with third parties.
The exemption afforded by Section 43 is subject to what is known as the 'public interest test'. When applying the test in a particular case a public authority is deciding whether the public interest is better served by non-disclosure than by disclosure.
Although the Freedom of Information Act does not define 'in the public interest', there is a presumption under Freedom of Information that openness is in the public interest. In applying the public interest test a public authority will take into account the distinction that has been often made by courts between things that are in the public interest, and things that merely interest the public. Where applicants have not identified public interest considerations succinctly or accurately, the public authority has a responsibility under the Act to make their own assessment of the public interest considerations in the particular case.
We have identified the following public interest factors that may be seen as encouraging the disclosure of information:
a) accountability of public spending
We consider these factors to be of limited relevance in relation to the information in question.
Public interest factors seen as encouraging non-disclosure are, generally, the exemptions themselves. In consideration of this matter we came to the following conclusions:
a) ensuring that companies are able to compete for business fairly
b) damage to reputation and/or financial interests
In weighing the factors for and against disclosure we have concluded that the likely benefit to the applicant and the wider public of disclosure is outweighed by the likely prejudice caused by such disclosure and that therefore the public interest is better served by non-disclosure.
For the reasons given above we will not be communicating to you the information you have requested.
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