The Request

Received on 27 July 2016

Dear Freedom of Information Officer,

I am writing to make a Freedom of Information request for the following information, under the Freedom of Information Act (2000).

To assist you, I believe this may best be sourced from your Category Manager for Professional Services within your Procurement section, or Procurement/ Purchasing/ Finance and HR/ Personnel/ Recruitment sections, depending on the organisational structure of the British Council.

 

1. Please advise the total staff headcount that are employed directly by the British Council, with each part-time employee counted as one employee. Please exclude all temporary agency workers from this figure.

2. Please identify each supplier that the British Council has a contract with to supply temporary agency workers.

3. Please identify: a. the type of contract that the British Council has with each of these suppliers (preferred supplier list/ framework/ etc. If framework, please indicate b. which - e.g. MSTAR/ YPO/ Panel London/ Pan London/ NPS All Wales/ Crown Commercial Services/ etc; and c. whether this is on a neutral/ master/ hybrid vender model, or the lot number.

4. Please advise for each contract identified within (2) above of: a. the current end date of the contract; b. the date(s) that any break clause(s) can be enabled; and c. the length of time of any extension that can be enabled.

5. Please advise of the a. full name of the main contact at the British Council who is responsible for the main (or majority of the) contract(s) identified within (2) above, together with their:

b. job title;

c. group (either team, division or department, whichever is the smallest identifiable group); d. telephone number; e. email; and f. full postal address, inc postcode.

6. Please identify all suppliers that the British Council has sourced a temporary agency worker from - but does not have a contract with - from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

7. For each temporary agency supplier (either a. contracted as identified within (2) above; b. non-contracted as identified within (6) above; and c. all temporary workers the British Council has sourced directly), how much has been spent on each supplier (or directly), from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016?

I would like the above information to be provided in electronic copy, sent by reply of this request.

If you believe this request is too wide or unclear, I would be grateful if you could contact me for clarification, as I understand that under the Act, you are required to advise and assist requesters. If any of this information is already in the public domain, please would you direct me to it, with page references and URLs, as appropriate.

If you believe the release of any of this information is prohibited on the grounds of breach of confidence, I ask that you supply me with copies of the confidentiality agreement and remind you that information should not be treated as confidential if such an agreement has not been signed.

I understand that you are required to respond to my request within the 20 working days after you receive this request. I would be grateful if you would acknowledge by reply that you have received this request.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours,

 

Requested clarification on 29 July 2016

Thank you for your email to the British Council, your email has been passed to me for reply.

From our preliminary assessment it has become clear that we will not be able to answer your request without further clarification from you

Could you please confirm if you would like the information in relation to our UK operations and UK appointed staff or if you would like information about our global operations and staff appointed throughout our operations globally?

As part of our duty to provide advice and assistance we would like to make you aware, in advance, that British Council operates in 110 countries worldwide and has over 200 offices globally therefore in some cases, for information that is not held centrally and requires retrieval from individual offices, section 12 (Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit) may apply.

Once you have clarified the point above I can begin to process your request.  Please note that no further action will be taken until we receive clarification from you.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Sincerely,               

 

Clarification received on 29 July 2016

Thank you for your email of earlier today, requesting clarification of the scope of my request of 27 July.

I can confirm that this request only applies to your UK operations and UK-appointed staff. This request is not to consider the British Council’s global operations nor staff appointed throughout the Council’s operations globally.

I appreciate you requesting clarification on this and I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Responded on 25 August 2016

Case Reference: FOI/2016/53

 

25 August 2016

 

Dear 

Thank you for your request for information dated 27 July 2016, which you later clarified on 29 July 2016, concerning the supply of temporary agency workers. 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 the information you have requested.

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

1. Please advise the total staff headcount that are employed directly by the British Council, with each part-time employee counted as one employee. Please exclude all temporary agency workers from this figure.

As at 31 July 2016 there were 1221 UK-appointed employees based in the UK offices. This excludes employees on maternity leave or career break at 31 July 2016.

2. Please identify each supplier that the British Council has a contract with to supply temporary agency workers.

Comensura

3. Please identify: a. the type of contract that the British Council has with each of these suppliers (preferred supplier list/ framework/ etc. If framework, please indicate b. which - e.g. MSTAR/ YPO/ Panel London/ Pan London/ NPS All Wales/ Crown Commercial Services/ etc; and c. whether this is on a neutral/ master/ hybrid vender model, or the lot number.

MSTAR2 – Lot 1

4. Please advise for each contract identified within (2) above of: a. the current end date of the contract; b. the date(s) that any break clause(s) can be enabled; and c. the length of time of any extension that can be enabled.

a. April 2019

b. N/A

c. N/A

5. Please advise of the a. full name of the main contact at the British Council who is responsible for the main (or majority of the) contract(s) identified within (2) above, together with their:

b. job title;

c. group (either team, division or department, whichever is the smallest identifiable group); d. telephone number; e. email; and f. full postal address, inc postcode.

HR Department

British Council 

58 Whitworth Street

Manchester

M1 6BB

Please note that we are withholding some of this information since the exemption under section 40 (Personal information) sub-sections (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies.

The exemption under section 40(2) allows a public authority to withhold information relating to third parties if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. Under the FOIA disclosure of this information would breach the fair processing principle contained in the Data Protection Act (DPA), where it would be unfair to that person or if it is confidential.

We have redacted any information that would identify an employee who is not in a senior or public facing role as it would not be fair to disclose their personal data.

Section 40 is an absolute exemption therefore is not subject to the public interest test.

6. Please identify all suppliers that the British Council has sourced a temporary agency worker from - but does not have a contract with - from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016.

British Council does not source temporary agency workers from suppliers other than what is sourced through Comesura therefore this information is not held. 

7. For each temporary agency supplier (either a. contracted as identified within (2) above; b. non-contracted as identified within (6) above; and c. all temporary workers the British Council has sourced directly), how much has been spent on each supplier (or directly), from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016?

a. £10,633,508.24 

b. N/A

c. N/A

Our only temporary agency supplier is Comensura therefore we do not hold any information for point’s b and c. 

I can confirm that this request only applies to your UK operations and UK-appointed staff. This request is not to consider the British Council’s global operations nor staff appointed throughout the Council’s operations globally.

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.gov.uk

 

Yours sincerely