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Whistleblowing

Request for information – FOI14542

Request

Thank you for your email of 9 April 2015, requesting:

I am currently conducting research for a book on unauthorised disclosures of official information and whistleblowing. I therefore request the following information:

Whistleblowing.

1. Please provide details of the number of individuals who have raised concerns regarding alleged breaches of the Civil Service Code in your organisation between the following dates: 01/01/2010 to 09/01/2010 and 01/01/2014 to 31/12/2014.

2. In particular:

a) Please provide details of whether each individual raised the concern on anonymous, confidential, or self-identified basis.

b) Please indicate whether the concern was raised to a line manager or nominated officer (an individual tasked to receive whistleblowing concerns as identified in the Civil Service Code).

c) Please provide a brief summary of the types of concerns raised.

d) Please indicate whether or not the matter complained of was subsequently referred to the Civil Service Commission or a regulatory or enforcement organisation.

e) Please identify (if appropriate) whether any subsequent action was taken.

Disclosure of Official Information without Authority.

3. If instances of disclosures of official information without authorisation (commonly referred to as ‘leaking’ i.e. to a journalist or other any other individual outside of the organisation who should have access to the information in question) are recorded by your organisation, please disclose the number of instances of unauthorised disclosure between the dates: 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2014.

4. Please disclose the number of inquiries conducted into disclosures of official information without authority between the dates: 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2014.

5. Please disclose any policy guidance/guidelines for the handling of instances of unauthorised disclosures

6. If possible, please identify the number of employees in your organisation who have been subject to disciplinary action or dismissal for the disclosure of official information without authority.

Confidentiality agreements

7. Please identify whether or not individuals working for your organisation are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. If so, please disclose a blank copy of this agreement.

Official Secrets Acts

8. Please identify whether or not individuals working for your organisation are required to sign the Official Secrets Act(s). If, so please disclose a blank copy of this agreement.

Authorisation to disclose official information.

If your organisation has policy guidance/ procedures for individuals (in particular employees or former employees of your organisation) to seek authorisation to disclose official documents (as indicated by s.7 Official Secrets Act 1989) please disclose this.

Response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information you have requested, and the answers are as follows:

1. Ordnance Survey has had no concerns raised regarding alleged breaches of the civil service code.

2. Ordnance Survey has had no concerns raised regarding alleged breaches of the civil service code.

3. Ordnance Survey has had no disclosures of official information without authorisation.

4. Ordnance Survey has had no inquiries conducted into disclosures of official information without authority.

5. Ordnance Survey does not have a specific policy for individuals to request disclosure of information.
However, under our duty to provide advice and assistance as stipulated in Section 16 of the FOIA, we can explain that this type of scenario would be approved by the Information Asset owner.
Our data protection act policy goes into detail about seeking approval from the DPO if requests for personal data are made. Please find more on in the Ordnance Survey data protection and privacy policy.

6. Ordnance Survey has had no disclosures of official information without authorisation.

7. Individuals working for Ordnance Survey are not required to sign the Official Secrets Act.

8. Ordnance Survey does not have any specific policy guidance / procedures for individuals to seek authorisation to disclose official documents.

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

Email: foi@os.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

Email: mail@ico.gsi.gov.uk

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

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