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[1980] IRLR 274

Case summary last updated at 18/02/2020 20:58 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case CSU v CAC

MoD planned to switch from employing in house cleaners to contractors, with result that some union members would lose their jobs. The recognised union requested detailed information on the office areas to be cleaned, number of cleaners to be used by the contractors, hours of each cleaner and rates paid to cleaners by contractors. MoD refused to communicate numbers of cleaners used by contractors and hours worked by each cleaner. The Court upheld CAC’s decision that MoD didn’t have to disclose that information because that info was confidential. The letters addressed to MoD with this information were headed ‘confidential’ and the information was of a confidential nature as it was highly commercially sensitive given competitive nature of tendering process. However the high court went even further, and said that the info withheld didn’t even fall within s.181(2) since the info relevant to the relative prices of contractor and in-house, which the union may have wished to examine and then use to negotiate, was the tender price compared to in-house cost. It had nothing to do with how many hours the contractors’ cleaners would work, nor the number of cleaners used. 

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