This Act provides a statutory general right of access to information held by public authorities, or by those providing services for public authorities. This means that HMRC has certain obligations under the Act to provide information when requested, provided that the information is not exempt from disclosure under the provisions of the Act.
HMRC is committed to meeting its responsibilities under FOIA, whilst respecting its commercial relationships with its contractors. Due consideration will be given to the potential impact on the commercial position of any of our contractors when responding to a request for information which may concern them.
All information submitted to the client may be subject to disclosure to a third party in response to a request for information under the Act.
HMRC may receive requests for information specifically concerning its commercial relationship with its contractors. We will consult with the contractor(s) concerned prior to responding to a request whenever reasonably practicable.
Contractors tendering for HMRC work will be asked in the tender documentation to identify any information they consider to be exempt from disclosure under the Act.
If HMRC receives a request to disclose the information identified, it will consider:
HMRC will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by contractors, whether in contract, tort or any other way as a result of HMRC disclosing information in response to a request made under FOIA, if the information is not specifically considered by both HMRC and the contractor to be exempt under the provisions of the act.
Contractors should note that if they provide HMRC with any information marked 'confidential' or equivalent, this does not mean that HMRC accepts any duty of confidence by virtue of that marking.
The two main exemptions under the Act, which have particular relevance to procurement or contractual information are:
Contractors can obtain further information on the Freedom of Information
Act 2000 at
the Website of the Department of Constitutional Affairs or the
Website of the Information Commissioner who is responsible for enforcing the Act.
If you want to make a request for information under the Act please refer to the Freedom of Information internet page.