Guidance for Suppliers and Contractors

Guidance for Suppliers and Contractors

All existing, previous, and potential contractors and suppliers to the University must recognise that the University, as a Scottish Public Authority, is subject to the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).

FOISA provides a general right of access by any person to information that is held by the University.
The information may be about the University's activities, decisions, priorities, plans, tenders, contracts, and targets and performance of services, and it may be held in any format, e.g paper documents, IT-based storage systems, or e-mail messages.

Requests for Information

  • The person requesting the information has to supply his/her name, an address (postal or e-mail) to which the University must send the information, and a description of the information that is required.
  • The University has 20 working days to identify, locate, collate, assess, copy, and dispatch the information.
  • Neither the identity of the requester, the reason for the request, nor the use the requester may make of the information, can influence the processing of the request. All requests must be handled as applicant-blind.

Consultation with Supplier/Contractor

  • Where an FOI request involves information held by the University that has been supplied by or belongs to a third-party (such as a contractor or supplier), or which may be subject to confidentiality provisions, the University will advise that third-party of the request and seek its views.
  • The University will work with the third-party to identify those parts of the information that the third-party considers to be exempt, and will seek to protect this information by identifying whether an exemption is applicable, appropriate, valid, justifiable, and defensible.
  • It is essential that the third-party works constructively and promptly with the University during the consultation process.
  • However the University is not obliged by law to negotiate with the third-party or to agree on the content of the disclosure before disclosure is made.
  • Where the information request requires information to be disclosed which is subject to confidentiality obligations under a contract, the requirement to disclose may lead to the University breaching the contract. It is important that all contracts and tender submissions explicitly refer to the above legislation such that there will be no breach of contract if the party is required by law or by a court of competent authority to disclose.

 

Further Guidance

  • Information on the University of Glasgow's procurement procedures, including tender processes and procedures and contract management, can be obtained via the Procurement Office.
  • The Scottish Procurement Directorate provides comprehensive advice on FOISA as it applies to tenders, especially during the various stages of the evaluation of tenders, and contracts.
  • The Scottish Information Commissioner, as the official regulator of FOISA, provides comprehensive and authoritative information on FOISA, including decisions on Appeals and the scope and use of the exemptions.