Corporate strategy at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0048856
Publication date: May 2017

Request

I wonder if you could help please – I’m interested in understanding the answer to the following questions:

1. How large is your organisation in terms of employees?
2. What is your single Corporate Objective, or how you would describe your reason for existing?
3. What role does Technology play in supporting that objective?
4. Do you have a Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer and could you identify how best to contact them please?
5. Do you have an IT Strategy and/or Digital Strategy?

Outcome

Successful

Response

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide most of this information to you. Please find answers to your question in numerical order below.

Q1. At the time of your request The National Archives headcount is 587 employees.

Q2. Our four-year business plan, Archives Inspire, is published on our website at:

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/plans-policies-performance-and-projects/our-plans/archives-inspire/

Q3. The implementation of The National Archives’ ICT Strategy is identified in Archives Inspire as a supporting priority for 2017-18.

Q4. The National Archives does not have a Chief Information Officer or Chief Technology Officer, however the Operations Director at The National Archives is Paul Davies and the Head of IT Operations at The National Archives is Julian Muller.

If you wish to contact The National Archives, please use the contact form at the following address: http://apps.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

Q5. I can confirm that The National Archives does have a Digital Strategy and an ICT Strategy.

Our Digital Strategy is published on our website at:

https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/our-role/plans-policies-performance-and-projects/our-plans/digital-strategy/

The National Archives ICT Strategy is currently under internal review. Once this process is finished the document will be made freely available to the public via The National Archives website. This document is expected to be made freely available in the first quarter of 2017 financial year. Therefore, in accordance with Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act (information intended for future publication) this document is exempt from disclosure at this time. Due to resources, unfortunately I am unable to contact you when the document has been published. We would therefore suggest that you visit The National Archives website periodically to determine when the document has been uploaded.

For further information about the application of Section 22 please see the explanatory annex at the end of this letter.

EXPLANATORY ANNEX

Exemptions applied
Section 22: Information intended for future publication

(1) Information is exempt information if—
(a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not),
(b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time when the request for information was made, and
(c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and we are required to conduct a public interest test when applying any qualified exemption. This means that after it has been decided that the exemption is engaged, the public interest in releasing the information must be considered. If the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in withholding it then the exemption does not apply and the information must be released. There is a presumption running through the FOI Act that information should be released unless there are compelling reasons to withhold it.

We have considered whether it would be in the public interest for us to provide you with the information ahead of publication, despite the exemption being applicable.

Arguments in favour of disclosure:

• Disclosure of this information would provide an understanding of the ongoing plans around our ICT strategy, which would be in line with the move to improve transparency in the operations of Government.

Arguments against disclosure:

• It is in the public interest to adhere to the existing publication process, which includes time for the data to be reviewed and properly verified before being placed in the public domain.

• It is also in the public interest to ensure that the information is available to all members of the public at the same time, and premature publication of The National Archives’ ICT strategy could undermine the principle of making the information available to all at the same time through the official publication process.

On this occasion, we have concluded that the balance of the public interest test falls in favour of withholding this information.

Further guidance can be found at:

http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/freedom_of_information/guide/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/section_22_information_intended_for_future_publication.ashx

http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guidance_index/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/AWARENESS_GUIDANCE_5_V3_07_03_08.ashx