BEC-10: We have concerns about the confidentiality of the documents that we provide in response to the requirements of the Part 1 Proposal. What assurances do we have that these will be kept confidential?

For a procurement event held by a Procurement Administrator on behalf of the Illinois Power Agency, the Commission makes public only the names of the successful bidders and the average of the winning bid prices.  As required by Section 16-111.5(h) of the Public Utilities Act, “all participants in the procurement process shall maintain the confidentiality of all other supplier and bidding information.” Participants include the Procurement Administrator, the Procurement Monitor, the Commission, and the Illinois Power Agency. As further provided for in that section, any such confidential information “shall not be made publicly available and shall not be discoverable by any party in any proceeding, absent a compelling demonstration of need.”  Additionally, for any confidential information shared with the Illinois Power Agency, the IPA is subject to a separate, standalone requirement found in Section 1-120 of the IPA Act (20 ILCS 3855); this Section requires that the Agency “shall provide adequate protection for confidential and proprietary information furnished, delivered, or filed by any person, corporation, or other entity.” This requirement to provide protection for third-party confidential information submitted to the Agency includes, but is not limited to, situations in which that information is provided to the Agency as part of a competitive procurement process.

Please review Section VI.3 of the RFP Rules for additional information. As stated in this section, “any information provided by a Bidder in its Part 1 Proposal is provided on a confidential basis to the Procurement Administrator, and may be provided on a confidential basis to the Procurement Monitor, to the IPA, or to ICC Staff.  A limited number of representatives from each Company will review the information provided to fulfill the financial requirements for each Bidder in that Company’s procurement event”.

Paragraph VI.3.3 continues, “The Procurement Administrator, the Procurement Monitor, and representatives from each Company involved in the evaluation of Proposals will consider all data and information provided by Bidders in response to this RFP to be confidential and will attempt to limit its disclosure to the public in accordance with the provisions of this section.  Each Company will also take reasonable action to ensure that its employees, representatives and agents authorized to consider and evaluate all Proposals protect the confidentiality of such data and information.  Each Representative of the Procurement Administrator, Procurement Monitor, and the Companies that has access to any portion of the Proposals is required to sign a Confidentiality Statement in the form of Appendix 15 to these RFP Rules prior to evaluation of any portion of the Proposals.”