FOI16646 and FOI16647 – Requests for information
Thank you for your emails of 24 and 25 February, requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA):
FOI16646: “All INTERNAL correspondence between 1 July and 20 September 2013 with regard to comments, licensing, amendments and additions to www.gov.uk/guidance/inspire-index-polygons-spatial-data#conditions-of-use namely the Land Registry Conditions of Use of INSPIRE Polygons”; and
FOI16647: “All correspondence between OS and Land Registry or 3rd parties between 1 April and 10 May 2013 with regard to comments, licencing, amendments and additions to www.gov.uk/guidance/inspire-index-polygons-spatial-data#conditions-of-use namely the Land Registry Conditions of Use of INSPIRE Polygons”.
Section 12 FOIA
We confirm that we hold this information. However, we consider that this request is for information which is similar to that requested under FOI14631 received on 27 January 2016 (“all correspondence between OS and Land Registry or 3rd parties between 1 July and 30 September 2013 with regard to comments, licencing, amendments and additions to www.gov.uk/guidance/inspire-index-polygons-spatial-data#conditions-of-use namely the Land Registry Conditions of Use of INSPIRE Polygons”). With respect to FOI16646, the only difference is that the request is for internal, rather than external, correspondence; with respect to FOI16647, the only difference is that you have requested information from a slightly earlier time period.
Since the three requests are for similar information, from the same person, and have been received by OS within 60 working days of each other, we are entitled to aggregate (i) the time spent in relation to FOI14631, and (ii) the estimated time that will be spent in relation to FOI16646 and FOI16647, in each case in determining whether we hold the information, finding the information or records containing the information, retrieving the information or records and extracting the requested information from the records.
It is clear that the aggregate time spent dealing with the three requests will exceed a period of 18 hours, and we are entitled to refuse to comply with the request pursuant to section 12(1) of the FOIA (where the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit).
Please note that, in the event that the appropriate limit were not exceeded, it is likely that certain of the information requested would be withheld under one or more of the following exemptions: sections 31(1), 36, 40(2), 41(1), 42 and 43(2).
Other points to note
Over the last five months, OS has received more than 20 FOI requests from you, XXXXXX XXXXXXXX and others who appear to be connected to you, most of which are related to 77M Ltd, and its historic and ongoing issues with OS. On several occasions, we have received requests before we have been able to reply to earlier requests; for example, we received five requests from you and XXXXXX XXXXXXXX between Christmas Eve and 30 December 2015. Again, on 27 January 2016, we received seven requests (from five different people) seeking the same information but over different time periods; you arranged for six of these to be withdrawn when we informed you that the time taken to respond to all seven would exceed the appropriate limit.
Whilst we have endeavoured to respond to these requests in accordance with our obligations under the FOIA, dealing with the requests has caused a disproportionate and unjustified level of disruption.
We acknowledge that for 77M Ltd and OS the development of a good business relationship between us has not been straightforward, and we understand that you may consider that you require certain information from us in order to support allegations you have made, or may wish to make in the future. However, we also note that 77M Ltd made a formal complaint to the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and, following an independent investigation, OPSI issued a report into the complaint in April 2014. The ongoing issues between OS and 77M Ltd all relate to the subject matter of this complaint, and we are concerned that a number of your recent FOI requests seek to reopen issues that have already been comprehensively scrutinized.
We do not wish, in this letter, to go into any detail as to the substance of the difficulties in our relationship. However, rather than continuing to deal with us via lawyers, FOI requests, letters to other branches of government seeking their intervention (which approach we feel may perpetuate what could appear to be a state of intransigence), we suggest it would be more constructive if you would engage with OS via 77M Ltd's account manager, XXXXXX XXXXX. This would mean less disruption to our and your business and, at the very least, would enable you to ask XXXXXX for precisely the information you are seeking, in contrast to the somewhat scattergun nature of many of the FOI requests; it may also lead to a more conventional and constructive relationship and the potential for mutually beneficial outcomes.
Recently, as you know, David Henderson, our Director of Products and Innovation, has made contact with 77M Ltd to try to arrange a meeting, and he continues to be hopeful that a meeting can take place.
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
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
Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to Friday.
Thank you for your enquiry.