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Fixed wing aviation contracts

Request for information – FOI14448

Request

Please provide me with information as follows:-

  • Current list of fixed wing aviation contracts in place with the agency and suppliers
  • Start and end dates of said contracts
  • Value of these contracts
  • Details of renewal options at the end of contracts
  • Details of any planned or upcoming procurements relating to fixed wing aviation which may be due in the next 12 months and where they will be advertised
  • Details/electronic copies of the policy of the agency in relation to SME businesses bidding for such work
  • Details of any specialist equipment provided by the agency to fixed wing aviation operators under contract to the agency
  • Details of any aircraft which the agency themselves own but which are operated on their behalf

Our response

Thank you for your e-mail of 18 January 2014, requesting information form Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, and due for response on or by 14 February 2014 – as per the legislative deadlines.

Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information to respond to your information request. Some information is exempt from disclosure and where applicable our reasoning is supplied. We respond to each of your points as follows:

1. Current list of fixed wing aviation contracts in place with the agency and suppliers

This information is held, but is exempt under Section 21of the FOIA ‘Information Accessible to applicant by other means’. This is because the current fixed wing aviation contract is published as part of the Government’s commitment to transparency and expenditure, and can be viewed in our aircraft hiring agreement.

1a. Start and end dates of said contracts

This information is held by Ordnance Survey, the start date of the fixed wing aviation contract referred to in (1) above was 15 February 2011 and the end date is the 14 February 2015.

1b. Value of these contracts

This information is held by Ordnance Survey, the fixed wing aviation contract value referred to in (1) above is approximately £450k per annum.

1c. Details of renewal options at the end of contracts

This information is not held by Ordnance Survey. The reason it is not held is because the fixed wing aviation contract referred to in our response to (1) above does not specify renewal options.

2. Details of any planned or upcoming procurements relating to fixed wing aviation which may be due in the next 12 months and where they will be advertised

Information relating to planned or upcoming procurements relating to fixed wing aviation is held but is exempt under Section 22 ‘Information intended for future publication’. This is because there is already a requirement and therefore a genuine intention for Ordnance Survey to publish future procurements of this nature. The information regarding where this information will be advertised is held, and that will be through BiP Delta eSourcing.

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and we are required to consider whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. Whilst we acknowledge the Government has set out the need for greater transparency across its operations, to enable the public to hold public bodies to account, this needs to be balanced against the basis for acquiring goods or services via competition where appropriate.

Fair competition extends to ensuring all potential bidders for tenders have the same opportunities (for example the notice period of the intent to tender in the future) which in turn allows Ordnance Survey to procure services in a fair and consistent manner – a process for which there is strong public interest.

We have therefore concluded that the public interest in maintaining the exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, ahead of the time the information would be published to the general public at large.

Under section 16 of the FOIA ‘the duty to provide advice and assistance’, our procurement page will explain our procurement process in more detail.

3. Details/electronic copies of the policy of the agency in relation to SME businesses bidding for such work

This information is not held by Ordnance Survey. The reason it is not held, is because Ordnance Surveys policy is to acquire goods or services via competition where appropriate. Under Section 16 of the FOIA general information on our procurement procedure is (as detailed in (2) above) published on our procurement page.

4. Details of any specialist equipment provided by the agency to fixed wing aviation operators under contract to the agency

This information is held by Ordnance Survey, the response being Vexcel digital cameras.

5. Details of any aircraft which the agency themselves own but which are operated on their behalf

This information is not held by Ordnance Survey. The reason it is not held is because Ordnance Survey do not own any aircraft.

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
Southampton
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
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

E-mail: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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