ICT Organisational Structure

FOI request reference: F0045457
Publication date: May 2016

Request:

I wish to submit to the organisation a freedom of information request relating to the organisations:

  1. Contact centre/call centre contracts
  2. Inbound network services contracts

Please send me the following information for each provider:

  1. Incumbent Supplier: For each of the contract(s) please can you provide me with the supplier of the contract.
  2. Annual Average Spend: the annual average (over 3 years) spend for each supplier
  3. Contract Expiry: the date of when the contract expires.
  4. Contract Review: the date of when the contract will be reviewed.
  5. Contract Description: a brief description of the services provided of the overall contract.
  6. Contact Details: The person from within the organisation responsible for the contract. Please provide me with their full name, actual job title, contact number and direct email address.
  7. Number of Agents; please provide me with the total number of contact centre agents;
  8. Number of Sites; please can you provide me with the number of sites the contact centre covers.
  9. Manufacturer of the contact centre: Who is the manufacturer of the contact centre system that you operate?
  10. Busy Periods: Please state the month(s) which the contact centre is at its highest/busiest during the year. This can be based upon the number of calls. Your provider may be able to tell you quicker. E.g. JAN-MAR, APR, JUNE.
  11. Do you use Microsoft Exchange 2003 as your email server? If not, then which product do you use?
  12. Number of email users: Approximate number of email users across the organisations.

Please add any further comments attached to this contract if there are any changes coming to the organisation with regards to contact centres.

The second part of my request relates to the use inbound network services contracts which could relate to one of the following:

  1. 0800, 0845, 0870, 0844, 0300 number
  2. Routing of calls
  3. Caller Identifier
  4. Caller Profile- linking caller details with caller records
  5. Interactive voice response (IVR)

For contract relating to the above please can you provide me with?

  1. Incumbent Supplier: For each of the contract(s) please can you provide me with the supplier of the contract.
  2. Annual Average Spend: the annual average (over 3 years) spend for each supplier
  3. Contract Expiry: the date of when the contract expires.
  4. Contract Review: the date of when the contract will be reviewed.
  5. Contract Description: a brief description of the services provided of the overall contract.
  6. Contact Details: The person from within the organisation responsible for the contract. Please provide me with their full name, actual job title, contact number and direct email address.

I’D BE VERY GRATEFUL IF YOU WOULD INPUT THE INFORMATION INTO THE SPREADSHEET ATTACHED.

Regards

Response:

Some of the information is exempt from release under the following exemptions of the FOIA:

Section 31

We are unable to provide you with specific details of expiry and renewal dates for these contracts because this information is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1)(a) of the FOIA. Section 31(1)(a) exempts information if its disclosure is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime.

Section 31 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. In the FOIA there is a presumption that information should be released unless there are compelling reasons to withhold it.

The public interest test has now been concluded and the balance of the public interest has been found to fall in favour of withholding information covered by the section 31(1) exemption. Considerations in favour of the release of the information included the principle that there is a public interest in transparency and accountability in disclosing information about government procedure and contracts.

However, release of this information would make The National Archives more vulnerable to crime. The crime in question here would be a malicious attack on The National Archives’ computer systems. As such release of this information would be seen to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime (section 31(1)(a)) by making The National Archives’ computer system more vulnerable to hacking at a given time. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping government computer systems secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This would outweigh any benefits of release. It was therefore decided that the balance of the public interest lies clearly in favour of withholding the material on this occasion.

Further guidance on section 31 can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1207/law-enforcement-foi-section-31.pdf

Section 40

Section 40 exempts the release of personal information about a ‘third party’ (someone other than the requester), if revealing it would breach the terms of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.  The DPA prevents personal information from release if it would be unfair or at odds with the reason why it was collected or where the subject had officially served notice that releasing it would cause them damage or distress.

In this case the exemption applies to the name and contact details of the person responsible for this contract. Releasing personal information about junior members of staff, who have not given express permission, would be deemed to be unfair, as there is no expectation that this information would be released into the public domain.  This would be unlawful under the DPA 1998 as it would be in breach of one or more of the Data Protection Principles and, under section 40(2) of the FOIA, we are not obliged to provide information that is the personal information of another person if releasing would contravene any of the provisions in the DPA 1998.

However, if you would like to contact The National Archives, general contact details are available on our website: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

Further guidance on section 40(2) can be found here: https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1213/personal-information-section-40-and-regulation-13-foia-and-eir-guidance.pdf