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Changes to OS OpenData

Request for information FOI14460

Request

I have recently obtained a copy of the agreement between OS and DCLG over the release of OS OpenData [1]. I note that the "Licence Terms" in Schedule 2 provide a specific licence for OS OpenData to be made available under, and that clause 2.8 provides two mechanisms whereby that licence can be changed. I also note the Government's Licence Principles in Schedule 8.

It would appear that the current OS OpenData Licence [2] is not the same as that specified in Schedule 2 of The Agreement. Under the Freedom of Information Act, I would therefore like to request details of the means by which it has been changed.

For each occasion on which a change to the licence was made, I would like to know:

(a) The approximate date and nature of the change;

(b) Details of the provision(s) under which the change was made/allowed;

(c) Whether permission for the change was obtained from DCLG and/or BIS (who now appear to be managing The Agreement);

(d) What checks (if any) were made to ensure that the new licence complied with Licence Principles in Schedule 8 of The Agreement, and the outcome of any such checks.

Our response

April 2014, requesting information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information you are seeking, and we respond to each of the points raised within your request below:

For each occasion on which a change to the licence was made, I would like to know:

(a) The approximate date and nature of the change;

Please see the attached table (omitted from this published response but available on request).

(b) Details of the provision(s) under which the change was made/allowed;

The changes were made under clauses 2.8 (a) and (b) of the OS OpenData™ agreement, and is detailed in this extract:

2.8 Ordnance Survey as part of any review of market practice or legal requirements shall be entitled to vary the Licence Terms in the following circumstances:

(a) in agreement with CLG and in accordance with the Licence Principles: and/or

(b) where variation of the Licence Terms is required to make the Licence Terms comply with applicable law and applicable Government policy current at the time of the variation and/or enforceable in all respects.

(c) Whether permission for the change was obtained from DCLG and/or BIS (who now appear to be managing The Agreement);

Revisions to the OS OpenData licence have been formally signed off as follows:

  • changes made to the OS OpenData licence in December 2010 and January 2011 were included in the PSMA Variation dated 31 January 2011, and signed on behalf of the Secretary of State acting through the Department for Communities and Local Government;
  • changes made to the OS OpenData licence in June and July 2011 were included in the PSMA Variation dated 19 December 2011, and signed on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
  • the most recent changes to the OS OpenData licence (July 2013) were included in the PSMA Variation signed on 7 August 2013 on behalf of the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

When changes are made to the PSMA, the PSMA user community is consulted as a matter of course. In addition, BIS and Ordnance Survey are closely involved in this context, and so changes of this nature are likely to have been discussed and agreed as part of regular meetings, before being formally effected by way of a written variation.

Note also that a variation to the OS OpenData Agreement is currently under discussion between BIS and Ordnance Survey, and such variation will of course include the updated OS OpenData licence (this will be more a matter of “housekeeping”, since in practice the revised OS OpenData licence is already in operation (with the agreement of both BIS and Ordnance Survey, as noted above)).

(d) What checks (if any) were made to ensure that the new licence complied with Licence Principles in Schedule 8 of The Agreement, and the outcome of any such checks.

All changes made to the OS OpenData licence are fully aligned to the OGL, and therefore meet the Licence Principles set out in Schedule 8 of the OS OpenData Agreement.

As all the requested information 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
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.

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