MoJ Obliged to Release Information Regarding ALS - Freedom of Information Act 2000
Can ALS claim that a database of 2300 interpreters that is bought under a contract from CIOL were amongst "2500 of our... registered freelance interpreters... suitably experienced and qualified for Authority assignments", in the context of this £300 million contract (see tender response below)? What authority do ALS have to use the word "our" in this context.
How many of the 2300 interpreters on the CIOL database did ALS agree terms with before the contract started in August 2011?
What were the usage conditions under which the CIOL sold its database to ALS? Did it include the right to use the information for commercial tender?
Excerpt of the contract between the MoJ and ALS regarding freedom of information:
19. Freedom of Information (p37-38)
19.1 The Contractor acknowledges that the Authority is subject to the requirements of the FOIA and the Environmental Information Regulations and shall assist and co-operate with the Authority to enable the Authority to comply with its Information disclosure obligations.
19.2 The Contractor shall and shall procure that its sub-contractors shall:
19.2.1 transfer to the Authority all Requests for Information that it receives as soon as practicable and in any event within two Working Days of receiving a Request for Information;
19.2.2 provide the Authority with a copy of all Information in its possession or power in the form that the Authority requires within five Working Days (or such other period as the Authority may specify) of the Authority's request; and
19.2.3 provide all necessary assistance as reasonably requested by the Authority to enable the Authority to respond to the Request for Information within the time for compliance set out in section 10 of the FOIA or regulation 5 of the Environmental Information Regulations.
19.3 The Authority shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion and notwithstanding any other provision in the Contract or any other agreement whether the Commercially Sensitive Information and/or any other Information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of FOIA or the Environmental Information Regulations.
19.4 In no event shall the Contractor respond directly to a Request for Information unless expressly authorised to do so by the Authority.
19.5 The Contractor acknowledges that (notwithstanding the provisions of this clause 19) the Authority may be obliged under the FOIA, or the Environmental Information Regulations to disclose information concerning the Contractor or the Services:
19.5.1 in certain circumstances without consulting the Contractor; or
19.5.2 following consultation with the Contractor and having taken their views into account;
provided always that where clause 19.5.1 applies the Authority shall take reasonable steps, where appropriate, to give the Contractor advanced notice, or failing that, to draw the disclosure to the Contractor’s attention after any such disclosure.
19.6 The Contractor shall ensure that all Information is retained for disclosure and shall permit the Authority to inspect such records as requested from time to time.
Tender Response (p112-114)
We currently have staff interpreters dedicated to CJS assignments but this is scalable based on language demand in each area and we work on a robust model that means we hire a permanent interpreter once a customer's demands consistently exceed five hours per day in that specified language, within a set geographic area. Approximately 2500 of our 4500 registered freelance interpreters are suitably experienced and qualified for Authority assignments.