GDPR training (2018)

Request

  1. What is the name of the organisation that recently provided GDPR training to the House of Commons?
  2. Please provide all information on how the company was selected, including the tender process that took place and how it was advertised, how the process was advertised, how many organisations bid for the work and their names, what criteria were used to select the company, and information demonstrating why the successful company was selected.
  3. Please provide all materials used by the company including notes and presentations, before and after any changes brought about by feedback or complaints from MPs or others.
  4. Please provide the successful tender document
  5. Please provide the names of all trainers involved in delivering the training.

 

Response

  1. What is the name of the organisation that recently provided GDPR training to the House of Commons?
    We have understood your question to relate to training provided to MPs and their staff by an external contractor.
    This information is held by the House of Commons. The organisation that provided GDPR training to Members of the House of Commons is IT Governance Ltd.
  2. Please provide all information on how the company was selected, including the tender process that took place and how it was advertised, the successful tender document, how the process was advertised, how many organisations bid for the work and their names, what criteria were used to select the company, and information demonstrating why the successful company was selected.
    Information held by the House of Commons is as follows:
    In response to requests from Members, in mid-December 2017 a decision was taken by the Commons Executive Board to contract an external supplier to deliver specific GDPR training to MPs and their staff; this was just six months before the regulations were due to come into force.
    For this reason, current suppliers of training to the House of Commons and those on wider civil service frameworks were approached to assess their capacity and interest in delivering the contract.  One suitable framework was identified but, after initial discussions, the supplier withdrew their interest. 
    The estimated value of the contract was under the threshold for the light touch procurement regime which allows the contracting authority to determine the procedures that are to be applied in connection with the award of such contracts, and to take into account the specificities of the services in question.
    The tender was not advertised, due to time pressures.  Nine organisations were engaged to ascertain indicative pricing, service provision and capacity to deliver the contract.  These companies were selected on the basis of having previously provided training to the House of Commons, House of Lords, or other public sector organisations.  This benchmarking exercise was evaluated against the criteria of cost, capacity, coverage across the UK and capability to provide the support service required within the short timescales.
    Given the allowable procurement approach under the light touch regime, the recommended supplier was invited to attend Parliament to present a full proposal on how the service would be delivered, confirming the pricing and quality of service.  This session enabled further questioning to test assumptions and clarify information.
    Information on the unsuccessful companies is not held by the House of Commons.   As described above, only a benchmarking exercise was carried out to ensure value for money was being achieved. Once this exercise was concluded only information relating to the successful bidder was retained in line with the requirements for the procurement approach used.
  3. Please provide the successful tender document
    And
  4. Please provide all materials used by the company including notes and presentations, before and after any changes brought about by feedback or complaints from MPs or others.
    For reasons outlined above, formal tender documents were not sought or received by the House and so a successful tender document is not held. However, a draft agreement (PDF PDF 1.16 MB) containing details of the quote submitted by the successful supplier is held.
    Please note that some of the information within the document has been redacted. Information in the agreement includes costs and specific strategies proposed by the winning bidder which we have exempted from disclosure under section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Information about the training materials used by IT Governance Ltd is also held by the House of Commons but again we have concluded that this information is exempt under section 43(2) of the FOIA.
    We consider that disclosure of either the successful quote or the materials used by the successful bidder information would be prejudicial to the House’s and the third party’s commercial interests. This is a qualified or non-absolute exemption and the public interest test applies.
    We recognise the public interest in the disclosure of certain information relating to the procurement of training. These factors include the importance of transparency in the decision making process relating to the spending of public money to ensure that procurement processes are conducted in an open and honest way. In this case they also include public concern over the quality of the advice given to MPs. Members of the public will rightly wish to have confidence that advice given to MPs is correct, that information they may submit to their MP will be handled appropriately and that action will be taken if it is found that incorrect advice was provided to MPs, particularly as the training was provided at the public’s expense.  In all cases, the public have a legitimate interest in knowing whether taxpayers’ money has been used effectively.
    However, we have also considered the public interest in withholding some of the information.  If disclosed, there is a strong risk that the House's bargaining position for the future will be prejudiced and commercial organisations may become reluctant to enter into further free and frank negotiations. In particular, disclosure of the some of the costs agreed would undermine the House’s ability to fulfil its role effectively and prevent it from achieving value for money.
    The commercial interests of the third parties with whom we do business may also be prejudiced if details of specific prices or services are disclosed to the public and their competitors. The successful quote and the training materials used contain details of solutions specifically designed by the supplier for the House of Commons, based on the supplier’s experience, knowledge and expertise. Disclosure of this information would provide any likely competitor with significant details of how the company develops and sells its service. This would create an unfair disadvantage to the company in the open market, whereby anyone could take their proposed procedures and costing, build their own solution based on these and offer it at a lower rate. This would cause financial loss to the company who may be unable to compete with substantially similar or even identical offers at a lower cost.
    For these reasons we consider that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
    We have also redacted the name of one individual from the attached document by virtue of section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), as disclosure of this information to the public generally, in the House’s view, would not be consistent with the data protection principle found in Article 5.1(a) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).  We have considered whether disclosure is lawful and fair and whilst it may be lawful under Article 6.1(f) GDPR (legitimate interests) it would not be fair to the individual concerned as they would not expect their name, as internal office staff, to be disclosed as part of such a request.
  5. Please provide the names of all trainers involved in delivering the training.
    This information is not held by the House of Commons.  Whilst the training was procured by the House of Commons, it was procured solely for Members and their staff and provided directly to them.  Training sessions were organised independently by IT Governance Ltd and booked by MPs directly with IT Governance Ltd.