Request for information – FOI13356
Thank you for your e-mail of 11 February 2013, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.
I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested, and this has been provided in the attached Excel spread sheet – your preferred format. [Omitted from this web page].
Not all of the information Ordnance Survey holds and which falls in the scope of your request has been provided within this response. Some of the information is not held by Ordnance Survey, and this is detailed where applicable.
The names and direct contact information of those persons responsible for the contracts you have detailed are exempt, as this information falls within the Personal Information exemption under section 40 (2) of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.
We consider this exemption applies because the release of: employees names, contact telephone numbers and their e-mail addresses constitutes personal data, and is exempt because the release of this information would breach one of the data protection principles, as detailed in Section 40 (3) (a) (i) of the FOIA.
In applying this exemption, we have considered whether disclosure of the personal data in question would be 'fair' (as described in Part II of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act). We have also given particular consideration to the likely expectations of the data subject regarding the disclosure of the information.
We will not be providing to you the name of those organisations who were unsuccessful in the tender process for the PBX/VOIP maintenance as this falls under the Commercial Interest exemption, Section 43 (2) of the FOIA.
We consider this information to be commercially sensitive, to the unsuccessful bidders, as it would harm their commercial reputation, and their future ability to successfully tender for contracts if a history of unsuccessful tenders were made public.
Where the disclosure of personal data would breach one of the data protection principles, this is an absolute exemption and there is no additional public interest test to consider.
The use of Section 43 is subject to a public interest test. We recognise that there is general public interest in the disclosure of information, as greater transparency makes departments more accountable for the decisions they take.
However, against this there is strong public interest in ensuring that the commercial interests of external businesses are not damaged or undermined by the disclosure of information, which is not common knowledge, and which could adversely impact on their future business.
Additionally, as this contract has been recently awarded, the timing means that knowledge of unsuccessful bidders at this early stage would affect the current trading/business position of the unsuccessful bidders should this information be released.
Overall, in this case, we consider that the public interest in favour of disclosing such information is outweighed by the necessity to protect the commercial interests of third parties.
Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them as follows:
FOI Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:
- Failed to respond to your request within the time limits (normally 20 working days)
- Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information
- Failed to provide the information you have requested
- Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request
- Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception
The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance.
The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision, provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.
Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s Office at:
The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Contact the ICO by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the ICO on their telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice.