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FOI release

Request for names and experience of academy brokers, details of their employment contracts and whether they are directly employed

Details of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for details of employment contracts of Department for Education academy brokers.

Documents

Details

  • Date requested: 26 June 2012
  • Publish date: 18 July 2012

Request

  1. Details of employment contracts of department academy brokers.

  2. Whether they are directly employed and, if they are, the details of their employment terms and conditions including all remuneration.

  3. If they are not directly employed, details of their contracts and the details of their pay and conditions of service.

  4. Their names and previous experience.

Release

  1. A redacted copy of the contract for the supply of educational advice to deliver the broker advisor role for the Department for Education’s academies and free school programme, under the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which is attached.

  2. Individual brokers are contracted through the department through their own businesses or through an interim management company (Veredus).

  3. Contracts for this role, whether contracted through the Department for Education or through an interim management company are the same.

The following links provide some of the information that was requested.

The first is a Treasury release that gives information on off-payroll engagements worth more than £58,200 per annum and includes companies employing brokers paid more than this amount, employed with the department in January 2012. This can be found on our Tax arrangement publication page.

We can confirm that the department holds the rest of the information requested, but it is being withheld because an exemption under section 43(2) of the act applies. On this matter, certain information is exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) of the act because disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person. Section 43 of the act is a qualified exemption, which means that a public interest test needs to be carried out, and in doing so, the following factors have been taken into consideration.

The awarding of contracts to external bodies involves the expenditure of public funds. There is a strong public interest in ensuring transparency in this process and in there being accountability for publicly-spent money within the department. This is to ensure that public money is being used effectively and that the department is getting value for money. It is also important to ensure that procurement processes are conducted in an open and honest way.

However, the general public interest in releasing the information requested must be balanced against the public interest in protecting commercially sensitive information.

The release of day rates would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the contractors providing the service. The disclosure of this information could also prejudice the department’s commercial interests by adversely affecting the bargaining position during future contractual negotiations, which could result in the less effective use of public money. It is therefore considered that it is not in the public interest to disclose information relating to the detailed breakdown of tenders, as it is not already publicly known and would be likely to be used by competitors in a particular market to gain a competitive advantage.

Within point 4 of the request, the names and other personal information are being withheld because it is exempt under Section 40(2) of the act, which provides for personal data, such as names, to be exempt from disclosure where its release would contravene any of the protection principles under the Data Protection Act 1998. This is an absolute exemption and requires no public interest consideration.