Jump to the following:

Internet cookies at Ordnance Survey

We use cookies on this website in order to make your visit run more smoothly and to give us statistics that help us plan future enhancements. Learn more about the cookies we use.

Who we are and what we do


Ordnance Survey is a government department founded in 1791, operating under legislation that dates back to 1841. It is responsible for the official, definitive surveying and topographic mapping of Great Britain.

In 1990 Ordnance Survey was established as an Executive Agency and, with effect from 1st April 1999, we attained Trading Fund status under the provision of the Government Trading Funds Act 1973, as amended.

Roles and responsibilities

Please view the Ordnance Survey Corporate Governance information. This details our accountability and responsibility, boards and committees, second tier governance and the involvement of the Shareholder Executive in our governance.

Ordnance Survey Framework document sets out our relationship with central government, our status and overall objectives.

Organisational structure

Interactive viewer available on the Cabinet Office website or

Legislation relevant to Ordnance Survey's functions

Ordnance Survey Trading Fund Order 1999 (SI 1999/965)

Ordnance Survey Act 1841 and continuing Acts

Information relating to organisations with which Ordnance Survey works in partnership

We work closely with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) as BIS ministers act as the governments shareholder of Ordnance Survey, and Ordnance Survey reports to Parliament through BIS ministers. Within BIS Ordnance Survey reports to the Shareholder Executive (SE), an Executive Agency of BIS, who have day management responsibility for the Government's shareholding in the Ordnance Survey Trading Fund. Ordnance Survey naturally works very closely with SE.

We also work closely with many public, and private sector users of its information within Great Britain, including the devolved administrations, local authorities, utilities and a variety of other bodies including those responsible for land registration, transport, land and property planning and development, agricultural, natural environment and heritage activities.

We have contractual licensed partnership relationships with a wide range of private-sector commercial organisations (which include our information in their products and services). We also work with private-sector data distributors and with commercial wholesalers and retailers of paper mapping products.

Senior staff and Management Board members

Biographical information about the Non Executive Chair, Director General and Chief Executive, Directors and Non-Executive Directors is available to view.

Ordnance Survey Locations and Contact Details

How to find us and contact us.

Search Freedom of Information requests

Back to top