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INSPIRE Polygons internal correspondence

FOI16685 – Request for information

Request

Thank you for your email of 31 May 16, asking for the same information as was requested in your request FOI16671 but for different dates, namely the period ending with the date on which OS and Land Registry agreed the terms of use for the Land Registry INSPIRE Polygons service and beginning on the date six weeks prior to such date.

We consider that the terms were agreed in their final form on 21 June 2013, and hence your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) is as follows:

Please send me all INTERNAL OS correspondence between 10 May and 21 June 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”.

Our response

Section 12 FOIA
We confirm that we hold this information.

However, we consider that the time spent 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 is likely to exceed a period of 18 hours, and thus 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).

Note that in relation to your request FOI16671, we spent over 21 hours on the above activities. From our initial work on FOI16685, we believe it is likely that the time which we would need to spend on the relevant activities will exceed the time we spent in relation to FOI16671.

Note also that, even if the time spent on FOI16685 did not exceed the 18 hour threshold, we consider that this request is for information which is similar to that requested under FOI16671, received on 26 April 2016 (“all INTERNAL OS correspondence between 1 July and 20 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”). The only difference in the requests is that the current request is for information from a slightly earlier time period.

Since the two 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 FOI16671, and (ii) the estimated time that will be spent in relation to FOI16685, 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.

In terms of whether the requests are for similar information, we have considered the ICO’s guidance on this point, which states that: “requests are likely to relate to the same or similar information where, for example, the requestor has expressly linked the requests, or where there is an overarching theme or common thread running between the requests in terms of the nature of the information that has been requested”.

Your email of 31 May 2016 states that you had “no way to know the exact date [on which the terms were agreed between OS and Land Registry]”, and appears to suggest that OS ought to have flagged this when you made your FOI request 16671, which was for the period July to September 2013. We would point out that OPSI’s Report into 77M’s complaint against OS dated April 2014, with which you are of course very familiar, states in the Appendix 1 timeline: “June 2013 terms under which HMLR would release the data were agreed between the PSIH and HMLR”.

Lastly, from the initial work we have carried out to date, in the event that the appropriate limit were not exceeded, it appears fairly likely that we would be able to invoke a number of exemptions to much of the information, including primarily sections 42 (legal professional privilege), 36 (prejudicial to effective conduct of public affairs), and 43 (commercial interests). However, please note that we have not considered these exemptions in any detail yet in the context of the relevant information (nor have we looked at the public interest test).

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.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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