FOI16698 – Request for information
Thank you for your email of 9 August 2016, clarifying your request of 1 August 2016, requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
All INTERNAL OS correspondence between 21 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”.
We confirm that we hold this information. However, we will not be releasing this information, as it is exempted from release by the FOIA, for the reasons set out below.
Information not released
- A number of internal emails are exempt from disclosure under section 42(1) (Legal professional privilege), since the emails comprise information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege could be maintained in legal proceedings. The emails were to/from OS’s legal team, made for the sole or dominant purpose of obtaining legal advice, and communicated in the legal adviser’s professional capacity. It is also possible that litigation privilege might apply to the communications, although we do not rely on this in our response.
In addition, for all of the emails in relation to which section 42(1) is invoked, OS considers that section 43(2) (Commercial interests) could also be invoked. For a number of the emails, section 36 ((Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) and/or 41 (Information provided in confidence) are also potentially applicable, although again, OS does not seek to rely on these exemptions in this response.
- Two further internal emails are exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) (Commercial interests), as their disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of OS. Both these emails are also potentially exempt under section 36(2)(b) and (c), although again OS is not seeking in this response to rely on this exemption.
In response to your question in your email of 9 August, we estimate that we have spent approximately 17.5 hours 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.
Public interest test
Sections 42 and 43(2) are qualified exemptions and we are required to consider the public interest.
In relation to section 42, we recognise the public interest in transparency, and that there is a degree of public interest from the GIS community in issues concerning OS’s licensing terms. However, we consider that this particular information concerns the private interests of 77M and its shareholders / directors. There is also a significant inherent public interest in maintaining legal privilege. On balance, having considered the above factors, we consider the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
In relation to section 43(2), we recognise the public interest in transparency, and that there is a degree of public interest from the GIS community in issues concerning OS’s licensing terms. Section 43(2) is a prejudice based exemption, and there is a public interest inherent in avoiding the harm specified. The request appears to be driven by the private interests of 77M and its shareholders/directors. On balance, having considered the above factors, we consider the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
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.