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FOI: Contracts and Commercial Confidentiality

Public authorities often receive FOI requests for information about contracts awarded, tenders or other information that might be considered to be commercially sensitive.

This interactive workshop examines the legal and practical issues that arise when dealing with such requests.

This workshop provides a detailed examination of relevant exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations and considers when these exemptions may be engaged. We focus on the commercial interests and confidentiality exemptions under Sections 43 and 41 of the FOI and EIR Regulations 12(5) (9) e)and (f).

We will explore recent cases in order to enable delegates to determine when commercial information may be lawfully withheld and how to draft a refusal notice.

Real life examples, practical scenarios and case studies, ensure that delegates understand how to apply the exemptions in practice. By the end of the workshop, delegates will have a greater confidence in deciding whether commercial information should be disclosed and how to justify their decision.

Key Topics

  • Transparency Agenda and Public Procurement
  • Types of information that may be commercially sensitive
  • Commercial interests-what are they and how can they be prejudiced
  • Prejudice to commercial interests (S 43 FOI and EIR Reg 12 (5) (e)
  • Commercial information provided in confidence ( S41 FOI) and EIR Reg 12 (5) (f)
  • Drafting a Refusal Notice
  • Procurement and Public Authority contracting

Dates & Cost


£399 plus VAT


£449 plus VAT

Timings: 10am to 4pm

Date: 27 Sep 2022
Location: Online
Date: 12 Dec 2022
Location: Online

Course tutors

All our associates are experienced information governance professionals who have been training and advising in this field for many years.

  • Philip Jones

    Course Tutor

    Philip has 40 years of information management experience in the public and private sectors both as a practitioner and at a senior management level. He was Head of Information Governance at Staffordshire Council. Philip holds a masters degree in information management and an MBA. He is a senior associate for Act Now and Chair of the Exam Panel.

  • Scott Sammons

    Course Tutor

    Scott is an information governance specialist with over 15 years of experience. He has delivered a number international projects for Act Now Training and is a senior tutor on the Advanced Certificate in GDPR Practice. His previous roles include European Data Protection Lead for a bank and GDPR Implementation lead for a council. Scott is a former Chair of the IRMS.

  • Susan Wolf

    Course Tutor

    Susan holds a judicial position as a Fee Paid Member of the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights). She spent ten years teaching the LLM in Information Rights Law at Northumbria University and developed their Postgraduate Certificate in Data Protection Law and Information Governance. Susan is one of the senior curriculum developers for Act Now Training.

  • Iain Harrison

    Course Tutor

    Iain is currently an Information Governance Risk Manager for large local authority and has over 20 years of experience. He has been delivering training for Act Now for over seven years in GDPR and FOI for public, private and charitiable organisations. His extensive experience in planning and implementation of Information Rights legislation allows him to bring training sessions to life.

  • Craig Geddes

    Course Tutor

    Craig is a certified archivist and records manager with 28 years of experience in information governance. He has served as an Archivist, Records Manager, and Senior Information Officer for numerous Scottish local administrations. Craig has spent many years developing and delivering training on records management, freedom of information and data protection.

  • Kirsty Squires

    Course Tutor

    Kirsty is currently a DPO for a number of local authorities and has over 15 years of experience in Data Governance. She has led the IG Project Team on transformation projects to deliver local government restructure in Northamptonshire, dealing with issues including information sharing, data protection by design and leading on training and policy development.

  • Naomi Matthews

    Course Tutor

    Naomi is a local authority lawyer and holds a judicial position as a Fee Paid Member of the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights). She has extensive experience in all areas of information compliance and RIPA. Her training has been commended by RIPA inspectors and her advice has helped many local authorities understand the law and practicalities of covert surveillance.

  • Kate Grimley Evans

    Course Tutor

    Kate is an information lawyer and holds a judicial position as a Fee Paid Member of the Upper Tribunal (Information Rights). She has worked for a number of top law firms and is the author of the leading guidance on information law matters for the museums’ sector. Kate is currently writing a chapter (on schools) for an Oxford University Press book on data protection.

What our clients say about us

    Course was excellent and very informative. Interaction with the Tutor was really useful. I feel I have gained a better understanding of the issues we need to consider when assessing FOIA requests.
    SR, Denbighshire County Council