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Media press lines

FOI14613 – Request for information


Thank you for your email of 1 December 2015, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act FOIA 2000:

I am writing to request information under FOIA about press lines to take on a conditional basis.

Please provide copies of all press lines to take prepared for publication on a conditional basis - that is, in the event a press officer receives a specific or persistent approach - from 1 January 2015 up until the date my request is answered. These statements may be designated by phrases including, but not limited to, "if asked", "if pressed", and "if pushed". These media statements are often placed on a log, and can be returned by a keyword or phrase search.

If my request is denied in whole or in part, I ask that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of FOIA.

Our response

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information you have requested and I am pleased to provide you with the below five reactive statements from 2015 with regards to your request.

  • GovCo – privatisation question - is this the first step to privatisation? (Jan 2015)

No. There is no intention to privatise Ordnance Survey.

Operating as a GovCo has been a success for organisations such as the Royal Mint, and this is the structure that government believes is best suited for Ordnance Survey. In the coming weeks, we will also make further announcements on Ordnance Survey’s support for OpenData policy, which would be inconsistent with any plans to privatise.

  • PCS and Gov Co – reactive statement (Jan 2015)

The recent announcement from Government to change Ordnance Survey (OS) from a Trading Fund to a Government Company should not come as a surprise to any employees or Trade Unions associated with OS. For a number of months the Ordnance Survey Board, supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) have been examining whether a move to a Government-owned Company (Gov Co) would serve the organisation best in the coming years.

Ordnance Survey staff the Trade Unions, including PCS and Prospect, have been regularly consulted and communicated with throughout the business model project.

Ordnance Survey has a small minority, approx. 70, of employees who are members of PCS.

  • Reactive statement in response to Spending Review and Autumn Statement (25 November)

The decision to explore options of private capital investment into OS has been taken by Government. Ordnance Survey will work with the Shareholder Executive to ensure continued success in Great Britain and long-term growth of the organisation.

Following the transition to a GovCo in April 2015 Ordnance Survey has developed and started to implement an expansive strategy which demands focussed delivery of technologies and skills across Great Britain, and the globe, to enable further and faster growth of the organisation.

  • What is the latest regarding the CEO vacancy at OS? (Jan onwards)

The recruitment process is ongoing and we expect to make an announcement in the near future.

  • Astigan statement (Jan onwards)

Astigan is a 51% owned subsidiary which is consolidated into the Ordnance Survey group accounts as Ordnance Survey has control of the Board. The objective of the company is to research new ways of remote data collection. We see this as a medium‑term investment and have entered into a joint venture with technical experts in their field.

I hope the above is of use to you.

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

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

Email: 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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