ICO’s Guidance on Outsourcing and Freedom of Information

The Commissioner’s ‘Guidance on Outsourcing and Freedom of Information‘ states at paragraph 18 (as cited at DN §19)

“It’s important to establish an objective reason for deciding whether certain information is held by a contractor on behalf of a public authority. The primary source that we would consider is the contract between the authority and the contractor. As this defines the relationship between, and the responsibilities of, the two parties, it provides an objective, evidence-based approach to resolving the issue. We recommend that public authorities should refer to the contract if they need to resolve an issue as to what information is held on their behalf. While it is unlikely that the contract will define explicitly what is held on behalf of the authority, it may indicate, for example:

    • what information the contractor is required to provide to the authority for reporting and monitoring purposes,
    • what information the authority has the right to see, and whether there are any conditions on that access, or
    • what happens to information that is in the contractor’s possession at the termination of the contract eg whether it remains with the contractor or reverts to the authority.”

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