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IPSA's online expenses system
FOI057
Disclosure Date:2 Sep 2010
Categories: IPSA - OPERATIONS
Exemptions Applied: Section 43
Request

Information about IPSA's online expenses system.

Response

The expense@work online expense system is a commercial off the shelf (COTS) application designed and supplied by systems@work, subcontractors of Calyx Group, our IT solutions provider. Their services were contracted in. An architectural overview of the online expense system can be found on the following website: http://www.systemsatwork.co.uk/download/content/PDF/expense@work%20Architectural%20Overview.pdf

A hard copy of the document is enclosed for your convenience.

Further information on the company and the product can be found at: http://www.systemsatwork.co.uk/index.html.

Please find enclosed an extract of the business requirements document for the online expense system that formed part of the invitation to tender.

The full details of the specification and requirements are commercially sensitive. In IPSA’s view the disclosure of this information is therefore exempt under Section 43(2) of the FOIA (Commercial interests). The engagement of this qualified exemption requires an explanation of the competing public interest arguments surrounding its use. Arguments in favour of disclosure include transparency in the accountability of public funds, that public authorities are getting value for money and conducting procurement activities in an open and honest way. The competing argument that weighs in favour of withholding the requested information is that to do so would prejudice IPSA’s commercial interests by affecting adversely its bargaining position during any future contractual negotiations which would result in the less effective use of public money. It is IPSA’s view that the public interest is therefore best served by the continued engagement of this exemption.