John Ashton | Freedom of Information Ltd

Using the Freedom of Information Act to help win public sector tenders

CAPTURE | 16:00 - 17:15

The Freedom of Information Act is a great but underused resource by companies looking to win public sector contracts. This talk will explain how the act works, demystify its more opaque aspects and show how bid managers can use it to help enhance their tenders.

Synopsis

This talk will explain how the act works, demystify its more opaque aspects and show how bid managers can use it to help enhance their tenders.

It will show the type of competitive intelligence that can be obtained under the act and the factors that shape public authorities’ decisions on releasing information. In particular, it will look at the act’s exemptions, concentrating on those affecting commercial information.

Using case studies, it will demonstrate how the act is applied unevenly and how this can be turned to the requestor’s advantage. It will also show how the appeals system can be used best effect.

Key take away skills/techniques

The session will provide an understanding of:

  • The type of commercial intelligence that can be obtained under the Freedom of Information Act
  • How to use the act
  • The act’s main exemptions, in particular those relating to commercial information
  • How to leverage your knowledge to get the most out of the act, in particular when appealing against refusals to release information

Biography

John Ashton is the founder of Freedom of Information Ltd, which provides consultancy and training services to the public, private and voluntary sectors. The UK¹s first freedom of information agency, the company's core activity is using the FoI legislation to obtain commercial and political information on behalf of third party clients. John also runs Write Arm, a writing agency, which, among other things, provides bid writing services.
He spent over a decade in current affairs TV and is the author and co-author of six non-fiction books. He has also worked with law firms as an investigative researcher on major UK legal cases.