Healthcare Environmental Services

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 22nd January 2019.

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Photo of Oliver Dowden Oliver Dowden The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

There has been one face to face meeting between cross government officials and Healthcare Environmental Services held at the Cabinet Office. It is not appropriate to publish the minutes of that meeting. These were extremely sensitive discussions about managing a very difficult and pressing problem.

With respect to disclosure of correspondence, it would be entirely inappropriate to publish this for many reasons:

  • it would be prejudicial to commercial interests, not just of HES but other organisations involved in attempting to resolve the matter (e.g. the current contractor, Mitie)
  • it would be prejudicial to the efficient working of government, since some of it is in the sphere of policy formation
  • it includes sensitive information disclosed on a confidential basis by the Environmental Agency and other parties
  • it includes information relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation into HES which it would clearly not be appropriate to disclose
  • there is also the potential for some of that information to be protected by legal privilege.

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