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Survey commission

FOI16705 – Request for information


Thank you for your Twitter message of 21 September 2016, requesting the following information in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000:

I’m interested in how this survey was commissioned, the decision to use this particular company, the discussions on robustness of panel and of methodology, the questions put and means of securing answers and the availability of the raw dataset.

Our response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the information you have requested. Where the information is exempt from disclosure this is detailed.

  1. How the survey was commissioned?
    The survey was conducted online between 9 and 15 September 2016 by OnePoll.
  2. The decision to use this particular company?
    This company was able to meet our requirements.
  3. The discussions on robustness of panel and of methodology?
    Please see the following guidance document, ‘28’, published by OnePoll which covers the questions surrounding methodology and the robustness of the panel used: www.onepoll.com/_wp/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/ESOMAR_28_questions.pdf
  4. The questions put and means of securing answers?
    Please find attached a draft document of questions of the survey (PDF). The survey was completed online.
  5. The availability of the raw dataset?
    So far, the survey has achieved widespread results with coverage in The Telegraph and interviews with Radio 5 Live to name two examples. We’re still hoping to receive further coverage with the release of the second half of the results during the map reading week, from 17 October.

We therefore consider the raw dataset to be exempt from disclosure under

Section 43(2) (Commercial Interests) of the FOIA as the release of the dataset is likely to prejudice the commercial interests of Ordnance Survey as it could be detrimental to our communication strategy.

We can, however, advise, under s16 of the FOIA (advice and assistance) that we would be willing to release such dataset following the National Map Reading Week and should be able to forward it to you during the week commencing 24th October 2016.

Public Interest Test
Section 43(2) of the FOIA is a qualified exemption and we are required to consider the public interest. Ordnance Survey recognises the need for transparency; however, this must be balanced against the public interest in allowing the organisation to protect its commercial interests in a highly competitive market.

Private sector bodies operating in the same market as Ordnance Survey are not bound by the FOIA and are therefore not disadvantaged or placed in less favourable position by the potential disclosure of similar information.

Consequently, we are satisfied that there is greater public interest in withholding certain information under this exemption until after National Map Reading Week.

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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