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Solicitors with a Paper Map Copy Licence

This Freedom of Information request asks for a list of solicitors and licensed conveyancers who hold a paper map copying licence.

Request for information - Ref No: FOI18868


Thank you for your email of 22 October 2018, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out in the extract below:

"Please provide a list of all firms of solicitors and licensed conveyancers in England (or in the UK if it is not easily possible for you to sort by devolved region) who currently have a map copying licence."

Our response

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold the requested information, however, it is not readily accessible.

We have identified 7057 customers with a Paper Map Copy Licence, however, these customers are not categorised by type of industry.   In order to determine if such customers fall within the scope of your request, we would need to manually consider each of these customers.

We estimate that it will take us in excess of the applicable time limit, of 18 hours, to determine the appropriate material and locate, retrieve and extract the information in reference to your request. The cost would therefore exceed the appropriate limit of £450.

Pursuant to section 12(1) of the FOIA, where the cost of dealing with a request exceeds the appropriate limit, we are entitled to refuse the request.

We are therefore unable to process your request further.  

Please note that, if the appropriate limit was not exceeded, Ordnance Survey considers that the requested information would be withheld under one or both of the following exemptions:-

  • section 40 (personal information), and
  • section 43(2) (Commercial interests)

Although, we do not seek to reply on these exemptions in this response, we set out below a brief explanation as to why these exemptions may be applicable.   Note that as we are not relying on the above exemptions, we have not (i) carried out a public interest test, and (ii) completed a third party consultation exercise.

Section 40(2) (third party personal data)

Section 40(2) provides that personal data is exempt information if one of the conditions set out in section 40(3) is satisfied. In our view, disclosure of third-party personal data, such as the individual names of sole traders would contravene the principles of the GDPR and DPA 2018. 

Section 43(2) (Commercial Interests) of the FOIA

The Information Commissioner recognises that some public authorities are permitted to engage in commercial activities and that information held in relation to these will fall within the scope of Section 43(2).

Disclosure of the information you have requested would potentially be capable of prejudicing our commercial interests as it would reveal some of the contents of our customer database.

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 Freedom of Information (FOI) request, as follows:

Internal Review Officer
Customer Service Centre
Ordnance Survey
Adanac Drive
SO16 0AS

Contact us via our FoI form

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 ( under ‘Report a concern’ or you may wish to call the ICO helpline on 0303 123 1113.