Request for information - Ref No: FOI221126
Thank you for your email of 20 December 2022, requesting information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, as set out in the extract below:
- How many staff (as measured by full-time equivalents) do you employ to work on communications? Please include all internal and external communications including work on your website, media queries and social media.
- What was your communication spending for the financial year 2021/22 and what is the budget for the current communications spending in the current financial year?
I confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you have requested. Where the information is exempt from disclosure this is stated.
Taking each request in turn, I confirm the following:
How many staff (as measured by full-time equivalents) do you employ to work on communications? Please include all internal and external communications including work on your website, media queries and social media.
The full time equivalent of 22 staff.
What was your communication spending for the financial year 2021/22 and what is the budget for the current communications spending in the current financial year?
The communication spending for 2021/22 excluding internal staff costs was £287,320.
We consider information relating to our communications spend budget for the current financial year to be exempt from disclosure under section 43 of the FOIA, therefore, this information will not be disclosed.
Section 43(2) Prejudice to commercial Interests Under section 43(2) of the FOIA, information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of OS.
In this case, we consider that disclosure of the communications budget for the current financial year would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of Ordnance Survey. Releasing this information would provide our competitors with insight into our financial information for the current financial year.
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 must be balanced against the public interest in allowing the organisation to protect its commercial information and not place itself at a disadvantage in the competitive market in which it operates.
Section 43(2) is a prejudice-based exemption, and there is a public interest inherent in avoiding the harm specified. Ordnance Survey considers that the prejudice would be likely to occur and would involve an adverse effect on Ordnance Survey’s revenues if we were to release this information in a commercially competitive marketplace.
We are not aware of any wider public interest in this information.
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
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.