FOI/2016/32

The Request

received on 13 may 2016

Dear Sir/Madam

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, please could you provide the following information:

1. Through your Neutral Vendor Comensura:

1.1   How many Temp workers in total do you hire on a monthly basis?

1.2   Which sector(s) demand the highest amount of Temp workers?

1.3   Could you please specify the average number of Temp workers you hire on a monthly basis from the list below:

  Admin/Clerical/Secretarial/
  Information Technology/Computer Science
  Marketing/Advertising/PR
  Social and Healthcare Unqualified
  Dentistry/Dental care
  Manual Labour
  Housing Benefits & Planning

2. Who are the Agency Organisations used by the Council to supply Temporary staff through the Neutral Vendor Comensura? And, what are the Agencies speciality sectors?

3. Apart from Comensura, is there any other Neutral Vendor used by the Council for Temporary Staffing? If yes, please specify.

Thank you for taking the time in conducting this research for us. Your time is much appreciated.

Kind Regards.

Our Response

RESPONDED ON 10 JUNE 2016

Case Reference: FOI/2016/32

10 June 2016

Dear

Thank you for your request for information dated 13 May 2016 concerning temporary workers and agency organisations provided by Comensura. Your request has been handled under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000 and has been passed to me for reply.

I can confirm, under section 1 (1) (a) of the FOIA, that the British Council does hold (some, but not all, of) the information you have requested.

For your ease of reference, I have restated your questions below in bold and have provided our response beneath each question.

1. Through your Neutral Vendor Comensura:

1.1   How many Temp workers in total do you hire on a monthly basis?

On average, 23

1.2   Which sector(s) demand the highest amount of Temp workers?

Admin/ Clerical

1.3   Could you please specify the average number of Temp workers you hire on a monthly basis from the list below:

  Admin/Clerical/Secretarial/
  Information Technology/Computer Science
  Marketing/Advertising/PR
  Social and Healthcare Unqualified
  Dentistry/Dental care
  Manual Labour
  Housing Benefits & Planning

 

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Admin/Clerical/Secretarial

12

8

11

16

6

Information Technology/Computer Science

7

6

6

10

4

Marketing/Advertising/PR

0

1

2

2

2

Social and Healthcare Unqualified

0

0

0

0

0

Dentistry/Dental care

0

0

0

0

0

Manual Labour

0

0

1

0

3

Housing Benefits & Planning

0

0

0

0

0

Total

19

15

20

28

15

 

 2. Who are the Agency Organisations used by the Council to supply Temporary staff through the Neutral Vendor Comensura? And, what are the Agencies speciality sectors?

We are withholding this information as the exemption under section 43 (Commercial interests) sub-section (2) applies.

Section 43 (2) allows a public authority to withhold information where it would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).

If we were to release the information you have requested it would reveal information about Comensura’s supply chain and as a result their commercial interests would be prejudiced.

The exemption for commercial interests is subject to the public interest test as stipulated by the Act, which means that the exemption can only be upheld if the public interest in doing so outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

Whilst we acknowledge that there would be a public interest in understanding which agencies supply temporary staff to public authorities and disclosure would facilitate transparency within our organisation in this case we feel that disclosure would undermine Comensura’s position in the market. Comensura is a vendor neutral provider of managed service solutions for the supply and management of agency workers and has invested a considerable amount of resource into the growth, development and on-going sustainability of its supplier chain defined by category of supply.

On balance we believe that the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure.

3. Apart from Comensura, is there any other Neutral Vendor used by the Council for Temporary Staffing? If yes, please specify.

No

I hope the information provided has been useful.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Internal review requests should be submitted within two months of the date of receipt of the response to your original letter and should be addressed to:

Information Governance Advisor (Disclosures)

Information Governance and Risk Management
British Council
Bridgewater House
58 Whitworth Street
Manchester
M1 6BB
Email: IGDisclosures@britishcouncil.org

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have a right to appeal to the Information Commissioner for a decision at:

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

Phone: 0303 123 1113 

Website: www.ico.org.uk

Yours sincerely