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The GeoInformation Group's UKMap

FOI14610 – Request for information


Thank you for your email of 30 November 2015, requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000:

Please email under an FOI request the following within 20 working days:

All correspondence (internal and external) since 2009 in relation to The Geoinformations’s UK MAP with regard to issues around Crown Copyright breach or breach of IPR, sample data, “show and tell” demonstrations, or PR.

Any financial information may be redacted along with The GeoInformation Group staff names.

If this value is to exceed £600 in cost then only for 2009/2010.

Our response

We have now completed searching for the information you requested. We can confirm that we hold some of this information.

A copy of the information which can be disclosed is enclosed (this information is available on request); please see the UKMap Launch Edition material, summer issue 2009.

The remainder of the information, comprising two email chains, is exempt under the following section(s) of the FOIA and is therefore withheld:

  • Section 41(1) (information provided in confidence), as disclosure would constitute an actionable breach of confidence by a third party; and/or
  • Section 43(2) (commercial interests), as its disclosure would be likely to prejudice either the commercial interests of Ordnance Survey and/or a third party.

In addition, we consider that section 36(2)(b) and (c ) (prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs) would potentially be applicable, as disclosure of the information would be likely to inhibit the free and frank provision of advice, or the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, or would be likely to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs.

Section 41(1)
This is an absolute exemption and there is therefore no requirement to consider the public interest.

Section 43(2)
This is a qualified exemption and we are required to consider the public interest.

Ordnance Survey is a wholly owned Government company; like other companies, it is required to generate revenue from its commercial activities in order to fund its operations (including, in OS’s case, its public task).

Whilst we recognise the requirement for transparency, this has to be balanced against the public interest in allowing OS to be able to (i) protect Crown and OS copyright and database rights in accordance with its obligations to the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, and (ii) protect its commercial interests (so that it is not disadvantaged in comparison to organisations which are not subject to the FOIA) such that it can continue to fulfil its public task and deliver its obligation to HM Government to operate on a commercial, self-financing basis.

Having considered the above, we are satisfied that the public interest is best served by withholding the information under this exemption.

Under our duty to provide advice and assistance under section 16 of the FOIA, we can provide the following explanation which may assist you in this matter.

Ordnance Survey, amongst other third parties, was invited to attend an industry wide event (the AGI Conference) at which GeoInformation Group presented on its new UKMap product. At this event and within the marketing information provided, GeoInformation Group provided details as to how its UKMap product was created. At an early stage following our becoming aware of UKMap, OS was able, via technical analysis, to satisfy itself that UKMap had been created without infringing Crown and OS copyright and database rights in OS mapping data.

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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