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Right of way orders

Request for information – FOI13370

Thank you for your e-mail of 21 April 2013, which we acknowledge, requesting information from Ordnance Survey under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

We respond to your points below, and additionally under Section 16 of the FOIA, the duty to provide advice and assistance, we also enclose a letter clarifying the various points you have raised, over time, to assist you with this on-going matter.

Where the information is held this is supplied in our response. Where Ordnance Survey does not hold the requested information we detail the reasons why it is not held.

1. Will you please send us a written copy via Royal Mail of Ceredigion County Council’s ‘Confirmed Rights Public Rights of Way Order’ received by the Ordnance Survey in 2008?
This information is not held by Ordnance Survey and therefore cannot be provided to you.

The reason it is not held, is because Ordnance Survey depicts the Ceredigion Coastal Path on our mapping, as a recreation route, and which does not require a Rights of Way Order. (See our previous response to you under reference FOI11190)

2. How could the council have sent you a ‘Confirmed Public Rights of Way Order’ in 2008, when the High Court Case concerning the issue did not take place until 2009 and the Court of Appeal case concerning the same issue did not occur until 2010?
This information is not held by Ordnance Survey. Please see our response to your above question as to why this is not held.

3. The ‘Right of Way’ was not ‘confirmed’ in 2008! The legal action was on-going, so the case should have been ‘sub justice’ throughout the year of 2008!
There is no information request to respond to under this point.

4. Are you telling us that all you received from Ceredigion County Council confirming the footpath creation, was an e-mail… which you have since….conveniently….destroyed??
Ordnance Survey received an e-mail from Ceredigion County Council notifying us of the recreational route of the Ceredigion Coastal path with the relevant MapInfo tables.
This information and the MapInfo tables were supplied to you under our previous FOI response, reference: FOI11213.

5. Why was the ‘confirmed public right of way order’ not on an official letter from the County Council? Why does Ordnance Survey not insist on such written evidence?
As advised in Q1 and Q2, a confirmed Rights of Way order is not required for a recreational route.

6. I am told that you, as government body, have a legal obligation to keep all information for seven years. Is that correct?
Ordnance Survey does not have a legal requirement to retain all information for seven years.

We are required to hold financial information for seven years and our legal services department has different retention periods for their records, with our registered files retained in accordance with the Public Records Act.

Where documents are not required for business purposes and are not financial or legal documents, then there would be no legal requirement for us to keep it.

Additionally, we advise the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) states that ‘personal data processed for any purpose or purposes shall not be kept for longer than is necessary for that purpose or those purposes’. If we retained all incoming correspondence for seven years we could, in some instances, be in breach of the DPA.

As all the held information requested has been provided, we have determined that in all the circumstances of this case the Public interest consideration (section 17 FOIA) is not applicable in this instance.

Internal review
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
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

E-mail: foi@ordnancesurvey.co.uk

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
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

You may e-mail the ICO: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk or contact them on their telephone helpline for advice: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 - Monday to Friday.

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