South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway waste contract cost inquiry refusal upheld

Plant Image copyright Renewi
Image caption The council ended its PFI waste contract last year

A council review has concluded it was justified in withholding details of why it cost it £6.5m to end a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) waste deal.

A report revealed the financial impact of the contract termination on Dumfries and Galloway Council last year.

A BBC Freedom of Information (FOI) request about the deal was refused by the local authority in December.

The council was asked to look again at that decision, but a review has ruled the details should not be released.

In November, a best value assurance study of the local authority prepared for the Accounts Commission highlighted the financial impact of ending the PFI deal.

'Breach of confidence'

The BBC's FOI request asked for details of why the council faced such costs when it was the private company who wished to end the contract.

It also asked if the authority expected in future to face similar losses to those incurred by the firm which had been running the service.

The council rejected the request, saying it did hold the information but its release could "prejudice substantially" the "effective conduct of public affairs".

The BBC asked it to review that decision but it reached the same conclusion.

In addition the council concluded that releasing the details would "constitute a breach of confidence".

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