Select Committee on Public Administration Second Report

Answers given in the 1998/1999 Session

Answers that refer to "commercially confidential" matters or are a "commercial matter"

Q Nos 62492, 68427, 72881, 66450, 66023, 66154, 73913, 88503, 89932

Details of contracts are a matter of negotiation for the companies concerned. As such they are commercially sensitive and not for publication and thus divulged to competitors.

Patent applications are treated as confidential as there could be no protection from competitors if details were to be published prior to the granting of a patent.

Exemption 13 of the Code - Third Party's Commercial Confidences - applies.

Answers that refer to public sector individuals

Q Nos 62832, 78439

Personnel records are a matter for the individual and the Department concerned and are not normally released.

Exemption 8 of the Code - Public Employment, Public Appointments and Honours - applies.

Answers that refer to company investigations

Q Nos 66624, 71621, 74762, 74763, 77586

Investigations into companies can be subject to legal proceedings and therefore premature disclosure could prejudice any such proceedings.

Exemption 4 of the Code - Law Enforcement and Legal proceedings - applies.

Answer that refers to forthcoming legislation

Q No 68411

Her Majesty the Queen announces the programme of legislation in the new Parliamentary session during her speech at the State Opening of Parliament. Successive Governments have not wanted to pre-empt this speech.

Answers that refer to meetings with/advice to Ministers

Q Nos 72245, 72065, 72062, 74838, 80814, 92059, 92056, 97105

Private individuals and companies will provide information, in writing and during meetings, on the basis that any such individual information remains confidential, either for commercial reasons or because of its market sensitivity. The Government has to respect the wishes of the information provider.

Exemption 2 of the Code - Internal Discussion and Advice - applies.

Answers that refer to internal Government minutes/meetings

Q Nos 66021, 75099, 82711, 97105, 72744, 72742

Other than in exceptional circumstances, successive Governments have been of the opinion that releasing details of the formulation of policy could harm the internal decision making process.

Exemption 2 of the Code - Internal Discussion and Advice - applies.

Answers that refer to security

Q Nos 81079, 85821

Publishing information regarding details of physical protection measures would have to provide valuable information to any terrorist or other organisation.

Exemption 1 of the Code - Defence, Security and International Arrangements - applies.

Answer that refers to a competition case

Q No 88887

Both the timing of competition announcements and the work that is done when competition cases considered, are market sensitive.

Exemption 20 of the Code - Publication and Prematurity in relation to a Planned or Potential Announcement or Publication - applies.

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