Fees paid to private providers of children’s homes and residential placements

Please find a Freedom of Information request related to the prices paid by Local Authorities for Children’s Homes services over the last 3 financial years.

1. For each placement made to a private or voluntary provider’s children’s home in the financial years 2015/16, 2016/17, and 2017/18, please provide the actual price per week (excluding VAT) paid for the placement to the provider by your local authority.

1a. If the price per week changed during the year, please provide all weekly prices that applied during the year. (See Dummy data in tab ‘Question 1 Answers’)

1b. This is a request for the weekly price only, and NOT for the total placement cost.

1c. Please do NOT identify the child or young person or the name of the provider. I am not interested in commercially sensitive figures.
1d. Please provide the weekly price EXCLUDING any VAT.
1e. Please do NOT include short break placements.

2. If your authority operates its own children’s homes, please provide the actual weekly cost of a place in your own homes for the same financial year.

We believe that the information you have requested is exempt under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – Commercial Interests.

Devon County Council considers that the release of this information provides competitive advantage to the requestor and this would prejudice the commercial interests of the providers involved. We also consider that that the release of this information would be likely to be commercially prejudicial to the council, as realising this information could lead to providers benchmarking against prices submitted. This may then lead to future tenders being less completive which may mean the Council having to pay more for these services in the future.

Devon County Council acknowledges that there is a general public interest in openness and transparency. However, in the current economic climate there is a strong public interest in ensuring that we generate as much income from our commercial clients as possible, so that the maximum amount of money can be spent on services for the people of Devon. Therefore, for this reason we believe that the balance of public interest lies in withholding this information at this time