Freedom of Information releases

Cyber Security Specialist - P21-0045 - Scottish Enterprise

Cyber Security Specialist - P21-0045: FOI release (reference 4843)

Date received

13 October 2020

Date responded

29 October 2020

Information requested

The Scottish Enterprise (which is a public body of the Scottish Government) advertised the following assignment (Published Monday 6 July 2020). Cyber Security Specialist - P21-0045 - Scottish Enterprise. Source: digital marketplace 

Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, I want to access the following information with regard to the above assignment.

1 - How many buyers/ suppliers (out of all 44 completed applications) were interviewed?

2 - What daily rate (the daily fee in Pound sterling) each buyer/ supplier that was interviewed submitted for this?


1. Scottish Enterprise can confirm 6 suppliers were interviewed.

2. Please note the daily rates of the six suppliers below, noting that we cannot identify company names with the rates below due to commercial interests and so is exempt under section 33(1)b of FOISA.

  • £725
  • £640
  • £675
  • £777,78
  • £595
  • £800

Section 33(1)(b)- Commercial Interests

This section allows information to be withheld where its disclosure under the Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of any person (including, without prejudice to that generality, a Scottish public authority). This applies in this case to information on companies projected costs.

Release of this information would have the result of causing real, significant and substantial prejudice to the parties involved.

Harm Test – Substantial Prejudice

Release of the information would reveal aspects of the companies' current position which would substantially prejudice its bargaining power. This would have the result of substantially prejudicing their ability to compete against other businesses about whom similar information is not in the public domain. In my view, disclosure of the information would cause the companies real, significant and substantial prejudice.

The Public Interest Test

I recognise that there is a public interest in decision-making processes within public authorities being as open and transparent as is possible. I also recognise that making certain information available can increase the accountability of public authorities for decisions that are made that may have an impact on the wider public, and in particular the expenditure of public money by SE.

However, balanced against these considerations, there is also a public interest in ensuring that SE can protect its assessments of business opportunities in order to enable it to spend public funds as effectively as possible. I must also have regard to the public interest in protection of the privacy of any individual which would be diminished by the release of the requested information. I consider that there is no public interest or benefit in releasing information which could have an adverse effect on the commercial interests of third parties. However, allowing commercial parties to maintain confidentiality in their commercial positions for prospective commercial transactions is important to maintaining and supporting the proper and efficient operation of free markets, which is of serious concern and benefit to the public. As such I consider that the public interest also favours the withholding of this information.

On public interest grounds, I have therefore concluded that, in respect of the commercially sensitive information requested, the public interest is better served in withholding the information.

Contact us

For further information contact our communications team, quoting the FOI reference number.