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Media, communications and public affairs software

Request for information - Ref No: FOI17804

Request

Thank you for your email of 2 January 2017, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out below:

  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to manage press enquiries, send press releases and maintain a press contacts database. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.
  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to monitor the media. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.
  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to manage and store interactions with stakeholders (e.g. the media, regulators, government agencies, the community, the public). Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.
  • The software used by the Public Affairs or any other relevant team to monitor the political environment and Parliament and log interactions with politicians, civil servants, lobbying bodies, trade unions, etc. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.

Our response

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. Where the information is not held or exempt from disclosure, this is stated. Taking each request in turn, I confirm the following:

  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to manage press enquiries, send press releases and maintain a press contacts database. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does not hold the information you have requested. However, under the duty to provide information and assistance in accordance with section 16 of FOIA, we can provide the following information which may assist you in this matter:

Ordnance Survey's Media/Communications team manages press enquiries on a reactive basis and maintain our press contacts information in Microsoft Outlook.

  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to monitor the media. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.

I confirm that Ordnance Survey uses Precise Media Monitoring to monitor the media. The contract value is £9,500 plus VAT per annum and the contract length is 12 months; the renewal date is Q3 2018.

  • The software used by the Media/Communications team to manage and store interactions with stakeholders (e.g. the media, regulators, government agencies, the community, the public). Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.

I confirm that Ordnance Survey does not hold the information you have requested. However, under the duty to provide information and assistance in accordance with section 16 of FOIA, we can provide the following information which may assist you in this matter:

Ordnance Survey's Media/Communications team manages and store interactions with stakeholders using Microsoft Outlook and an internal electronic records management system. In relation to the internal electronic records management system, Ordnance Survey has a perpetual licence and we do not pay anything for this system.

  • The software used by the Public Affairs or any other relevant team to monitor the political environment and Parliament and log interactions with politicians, civil servants, lobbying bodies, trade unions, etc. Please specify the value and length of any contracts associated with the tools you use.

I can confirm Ordnance Survey uses the following software/tools to monitor the political environment and Parliament:

Ordnance Survey has a subscription with Shungham Information used for EU monitoring. The contract value is £6,450 per annum (excluding VAT) and the contract length is 12 months; the renewal date is Q4 2018.

Ordnance Survey has a subscription with Dods Parliamentary Communications Limited covering the provisions of a) Dods Monitoring and Dods People and b) Civil Service People. The contract length for both these contracts is 12 months; expiring in Q2 2018. In relation to the information you requested relating to contract value for the contracts we have with Dods Parliamentary Communications, I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold this information, however it is exempt under section 43(2) (prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOIA and is therefore withheld, as explained below.

Section 43(2) Prejudice to commercial Interests
In this case, we consider that disclosure of this information would be likely to cause commercial prejudice to our supplier, as it comprises commercial pricing information which could be used to the disadvantage of our supplier in its negotiations with other customers, and could also be used by the competitors of our supplier. In addition, disclosure of this information would be likely to have an adverse impact on Ordnance Survey’s ability to negotiate the best price for future support services.

This is a qualified exemption and we are required to consider the public interest.

Public interest test
Ordnance Survey recognises the need for transparency; however, this has to be balanced against the public interest in allowing the organisation and third parties to protect their commercial information. In this case, we are satisfied that there is greater public interest in withholding the information under this exemption.

In addition to the above contracts in accordance with section 16 of FOIA and under our duty to provide advice and assistance under section 16 FOIA, I can confirm that Ordnance Survey use Microsoft Outlook to log Parliamentary questions and Microsoft Dynamics and Webchat as its Customer Information System, to log interactions with customers, this may include civil servants, politicians etc as referred to in your request.

Ordnance Survey have a contract with CafeX for Webchat which is for 12 months and expires in Q4 2018, although we hold the information you requested relating to the contract value, it is exempt under section 43(2) (prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOIA and is therefore withheld, as explained in our response above.

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 Internal Review Officer by contacting them, within two months of receipt of our final response to your FOI request, as follows:

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 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 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, within three months of receiving our response, with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Further information can be found on the ICO website (ico.org.uk) under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.

Thank you for your enquiry.

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