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Commercial Confidentiality

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department issues to civil servants on how to deal with claims from organisations that the information they provide to the Department is commercially confidential. [105562]

Staff are advised that any information, not already in the public domain, provided by organisations engaged in tendering for departmental contracts, is commercially confidential and restricted to those involved in the contracting process.Outside the confines of the tendering process, there is a presumption in favour of openness. The onus is on the organisations to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Department that publication and dissemination of the information would cause them commercial hams. Where appropriate, staff are advised to seek guidance from departmental procurement officers in specific cases.