Wednesday, 8 July 2009


This has got to be the all time most confused and garbled explanation for refusing a Freedom of Info request on grounds of commercial sensitivity of all time.

Can anyone make head or tail of this bit?

"In considering how the release of this information may prejudice commercial interests we have taken into account any harm that would likely to be caused to this authority. It has been confirmed to me by the relevant department that the bus shelter adverts, CIP adverts, A-Z directory adverts and Arrow adverts are conducted at a preferential rate specifically for the council. Whilst the council produces these publications internally, it does receive funding from external companies, whose commercial interests need to be considered. Releasing details of the preferential rates given to service providers could result in other service providers attempting to “undercut” the current providers, which could effectively damage their business both financially and for future contracts. This would ultimately affect this local authority negatively, as we could lose a service which is for the benefit of the public."

As far as I can tell they are saying that telling us the cost of advertising their 'service' in their own publication would result in upsetting some private company or other. WTF?

As for the public interest case, how can other suppliers offering lower prices harm Nottingham City Council?

And lolz at the "...service which is for the benefit of the public" bit. The 'service' they're talking about was advertising a crackdown on benefit 'cheats'.

Any better understandings of this to the usual address please.

Note; found this giving rates for the 'Arrow'. Implies an opportunity cost of £3000 at least.


Null said...

Sounds like some c*nt is hoping for a job in a certain private company some time soon...

Fed up of high council tax said...

They are also apparently worried that someone else will offer to do it cheaper, thus saving the council money.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there is a Government Select Committee investigating how politicians and other public servants use the English language to confuse the public and obfuscate issues.

They ought to have a look at this.