FOI request (FOI221844)
Contracts and Service Level Agreements
Requested Mon 11 September 2017
Responded Mon 11 September 2017
I would like to see the following documents under the People's Audit of the 2014 Localism Act, which I believe expires on the 9th of this month. Please could I ask you to confirm that they will be available on Monday 7th?
- Copy of Contracts and Service Level Agreements for idverde maintenance of Country Park paths.
- Copy of all idverde invoices for Country Park works
- Copy of Contracts and Service Level Agreements for Coffey works relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen
- Copy of all Coffey invoices for works relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen
- Copy of Contracts and Service Level Agreements for Legal advice relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen
- Copy of all invoices for legal advice relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen
Thank-you for your enquiry made under the People's Audit of the 2014 Localism Act which we referred to our external auditors for advice who said it was a matter for our Monitoring Officer and provided the following guidance: https://www.nao.org.uk/code-audit-practice/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2015/03/Council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights.pdf .
Our Monitoring Officer considered this to be a Freedom of Information request therefore please see below our response to your request.
Q1 - NOTICE OF REFUSAL
The information you have requested to receive a copy of the contract with idverde is commercially sensitive and is exempt 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.
Q2 - Please see attached
Q3 - Information not held - Hastings Borough Council does not have a contract or service level agreement with Coffey Geotechnics in relation to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen.
Q4 - Please see attached
Q5 - Information not held Hastings Borough Council does not have a contract or service level agreement for legal advise relating to Rocklands and Ecclesbourne Glen.
Q6 - Please see attached
Freedom of Information