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City council publishes redacted Service Birmingham contract

An online petition set up to force the council to put the Service Birmingham contract in the public domain attracted more than 400 signatures

Service Birmingham
Service Birmingham is a joint venture between the city council and Capita

Birmingham City Council has published the contract for Service Birmingham – the controversial joint venture between the local authority and Capita – but redacted some of the information due to 'commercial confidentiality'.

An online petition set up to force the city council to put the Service Birmingham contract in the public domain attracted more than 400 signatures.

The campaign, calling on the city council to release the full contract for public scrutiny, was led by Aston University professor and Birmingham Post columnist David Bailey.

A pledge to publish the contract by the end of February 2014 was made by the city council earlier this year and the redacted documents were released on Friday, February 28.

A statement on the city council website said: “Birmingham City Council accepts that there is a strong public interest in being open and transparent in respect of its financial and contractual dealings.

“However, it also recognises that there are situations where some information, if published, could cause harm to the commercial interests of either the Council or its contractors.

“The contract has been reviewed, in accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, to determine what information falls under one or more exemptions, and if so, whether the public interest lies in applying the exemption, and thus withholding the information, or applying the presumption of disclosure and publishing the information.

“A more detailed document setting out the reasons why each piece of withheld information has been withheld will be published shortly.”

The contract documents can be found here.

 
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