MoJ will not provide revised contractual documents with Capita under FOI Act
I received a response below to my Freedom of Information Request on the contractual documents following the revision of the Framework Agreement between the Ministry of Justice and Capita in May 2013. I replied to the Interpretation Project straight away on 11th June, enquiring as to when the documents were due for publication. I am still waiting for an answer.
Our Reference: FOI - 82886 11 June 2013
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your e-mail of 19 May 2013, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000:
Please provide copies of all contractual documents drawn up as a result of the revision of the Framework Agreement with Capita Translation and Interpreting, coming into effect on 1st May 2013, as announced by Helen Grant MP on 25th April 2013 in the House of Commons:
Please let me have the information requested above in the electronic form.”
I can confirm that the department holds information that you have asked for, but it is exempt from disclosure because it is intended for future publication.
We are not obliged to provide information that is intended for future publication (section 22(1) of the Act). In line with the terms of this exemption in the Freedom of Information Act, we have considered whether it would be in the public interest for us to provide you with the information ahead of publication, despite the exemption being applicable. In this case, I have concluded that the public interest favours withholding the information.
You can find out more about Section 22 by reading the extract from the Act and some guidance points we consider when applying this exemption, attached at the end of this letter. You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act, available at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/section/22.
When assessing whether or not it was in the public interest to disclose the information to you, we took into account the following factors:
Public interest considerations favouring disclosure
There is a general public interest in having access to the contractual information for services provided for the Government through external contracters. This assists in holding Departments and contracters to account.
Public interest considerations favouring withholding the information
The information requested is undergoing checks in advance of publication on the contracts finder website, so that it is available to all those interested in government contracts. Disclosure in advance of the relevant legal and publishing checks could lead to inaccurate data being released.
We reached the view that, on balance, the public interest is better served by withholding this information under Section 22 of the Act at this time.
You may be interested to know that the information will be published on https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder in due course.
You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details can be found in the ‘How to Appeal’ section attached at the end of this letter.
You can also view information that the Ministry of Justice has disclosed in response to previous Freedom of Information requests. Responses are anonymised and published on our on-line disclosure log which can be found on the MoJ website:
The published information is categorised by subject area and in alphabetical order.
Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service