What are the DWP Prime Provider Freedom of Information Act contractual duties?

All DWP Prime Contractors have to sign up to the Employment Related Support Services (ERSS) Framework, below is an extract of Primes/Subcontractors ERSS FOI obligations to the DWP. Older still relevant information can be found at: http://consentarchive.wordpress.com/myinfo/

26.     FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
26.1    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Authority is subject to the requirements of the FOIA and the Environmental Information Regulations and shall assist and cooperate with the Authority to enable the Authority to comply with its Information disclosure obligations.
26.2    The Prime Contractor shall and shall procure that its Sub-contractors shall:
(a)    transfer to the Authority all Requests for Information that it receives as soon as practicable and in any event within two (2) Working Days of receiving a Request for Information;
(b)    provide the Authority with a copy of all Information in its possession, or power in the form that the Authority requires within five (5) Working Days (or such other period as the Authority may specify) of the Authority’s request; and
(c)    provide all necessary assistance as reasonably requested by the Authority to enable the Authority to respond to the Request for Information within the time for compliance set out in Section 10 of the FOIA or Regulation 5 of the Environmental Information Regulations.

26.3    The Authority shall be responsible for determining in its absolute discretion and notwithstanding any other provision in this Framework Agreement or any other agreement whether the Commercially Sensitive Information and/or any other Information is exempt from disclosure in accordance with the provisions of the FOIA or the Environmental Information Regulations.
26.4    In no event shall the Prime Contractor respond directly to a Request for Information unless expressly authorised to do so by the Authority.
26.5    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that (notwithstanding the provisions of Clause 26.2) the Authority may, acting in accordance with the Ministry of Justice’s Code of Practice on the Discharge of the Functions of Public Authorities under Part 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the Code”), be obliged under the FOIA, or the Environmental Information Regulations to disclose information concerning the Prime Contractor or the Services:
(a)    in certain circumstances without consulting the Prime Contractor; or
(b)    following consultation with the Prime Contractor and having taken their views into account;
provided always that where Clause 26.2 applies the Authority shall, in accordance with any recommendations of the Code, take reasonable steps, where appropriate, to give the Prime Contractor advance notice, or failing that, to draw the disclosure to the Prime Contractor’s attention after any such disclosure.

26.6    The Prime Contractor shall ensure that all Information is retained for disclosure and shall permit the Authority to inspect such records as requested from time to time.
26.7    The Prime Contractor acknowledges that the Commercially Sensitive Information listed in Schedule 5 is of indicative value only and that the Authority may be obliged to disclose it in accordance with this Clause 26.
Framework Agreement Terms & Conditions (Framework Ts&Cs v2.0 final.DOC, 373kb)
Search for “DWP/CD/ERSS/Framework/2010” at http://www.contractsfinder.businesslink.gov.uk/

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