Response sent: February 2016

 

Outcome:

Partially successful

Request and Response:

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request in which you asked for information about Fixed Telecommunications and Internet Services at The National Archives.

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide some of this information to you.

We are unable to provide you with some of the information you have requested because it is covered by the exemption at section 31(1) (a) of the FOIA, which exempts information if its release would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

Some of the information is also covered by the exemption at section 40(2) of the FOIA. This exempts personal data of third parties from release.  For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:
Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives
Kew
Richmond

Surrey
TW9 4DU
complaints@nationalarchives.gov.uk

Please mark your complaint clearly.  You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint.  However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Explanatory Annex

Your request and our response

I want to submit a Freedom of Information request for the following information relating to Fixed Telecommunications and Internet Services. If there is more than one supplier for each of the contract information I am requesting below please can you split each contract individually and not combined. Please also separate the expiry data and spend and number of lines for each supplier.

Contract 1

1. Current Fixed Line (Voice Circuits) Provider- Supplier's name, if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

BT and Vodafone (Govt. Telephone Network)

2. Fixed Line- Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable) If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

• BT - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters (e.g. 1st January to 31st March, 1st April to 30th June etc.…)

• Vodafone - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

We are unable to provide you with any more information in relation to this question because it is exempt from release under section 31(1) (a) FOIA. Further information about this exemption and why it has been applied can be found later in this Annex.

3. Fixed Line- Contract Duration- the number of years the contract is for each

BT and Vodafone - rolling contracts, as above.

4. Type of Lines- Please can you split the type of lines per each supplier? PSN, Analogue, SIP

• BT = ISDN30

• Vodafone = DPNSS circuit

5. Number of Lines- Please can you split the number of lines per each supplier? SIP trunks, PSN Lines, Analogue Lines

• BT = 30 lines

• Vodafone = 1 circuit and 30 channels

Contract 2

6. Minutes/Landline Provider- Supplier's name (NOT Mobiles)
BT and Vodafone

7. Minutes/Landline Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable).If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract.

• BT - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

• Vodafone - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

We are unable to provide you with any more information in relation to this question because it is exempt from release under section 31(1) (a) FOIA. Further information about this exemption and why it has been applied can be found later in this Annex.

8. Minutes Landline Monthly Spend- Monthly average spend. An estimate or average is acceptable.

• BT = £800

• Vodafone = £50

9. Minute's Landlines Contract Duration: the number of years the contract is with the supplier.

• BT - more than 20 years

• Vodafone - more than 5 years (Govt. Telephone Network has been provided by a number of suppliers in the past, for example Cable and Wireless before Vodafone)

10. Number of Extensions- Please state the number of telephone extensions the organisation currently has. An estimate or average is acceptable.

• 1000

Contract 3

11. Fixed Broadband Provider- Supplier's name if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

BT

12. Fixed Broadband Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable). If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

BT - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

We are unable to provide you with any more information in relation to this question because it is exempt from release under section 31(1) (a) FOIA. Further information about this exemption and why it has been applied can be found later in this Annex.

13. Fixed Broadband Annual Average Spend- Annual average spend for each broadband provider. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Approx. £400

14. VOIP/PBX Installation Date of the organisation's primary telephone system: - please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable).

No VOIP installed

Contract 4

15. WAN Provider- please provide me with the main supplier(s)

• Verizon

• Vodafone (PSN/GCF)

16. WAN Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable).

• Verizon - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

• Vodafone - rolling contract - billing dates are business quarters

We are unable to provide you with any more information in relation to this question because it is exempt from release under section 31(1) (a) FOIA. Further information about this exemption and why it has been applied can be found later in this Annex.

17. Contract Description: Please can you provide me with a brief description of the contract

• Verizon - ISP services and circuits

• Vodafone = PSN/GCF services and circuits

18. Number of sites: Pleas state the number of sites the WAN covers. Approx. will do.

One site

19. WAN Annual Average Spend- Annual average spend for each WAN provider. An estimate or average is acceptable.

• Verizon = £74,000

• Vodafone = £60,000

18. Internal Contact: please can you send me there full contact details including contact number and email and job title.

We are unable to provide you with this information because it would identify a junior member of staff and as such is exempt from release under section 40(2) of the FOIA. However, we have applied the general principle that members of staff at Head of Department level and above are sufficiently senior for their names and/or job titles to already be in the public domain and are therefore not exempt from release.

The Head of IT Operations at The National Archives is Julian Muller
Further information about this exemption and why it has been applied can be found later in this Annex.

If your organisation has a managed services contract which includes all or two out of three of the services stated above please state which of these is included with the contract. It would also be for me to if there are any other service support areas that are included within these contracts.

N/A - we manage this in house

Exemptions applied

Section 40(2): Personal Information where the applicant is not the data subject

Section 40 exempts 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. Junior members of staff would have no expectation that information about their positions would be made available in the public domain; to do so would be unfair and contravene the first data protection principle of the DPA 1998.

In this case the exemption applies because this information represents the personal information of a junior member of staff at The National Archives. Publishing the names of junior members of staff is considered an unfair use of personal data. As such, the names and positions of junior officials are withheld under section 40(2) of the FOIA. To release the direct contact details of this individual into the public domain would see a vast increase in the amount of correspondence directed to his personal account, which would be unfair in that it would have a considerable detrimental impact upon their ability to perform his role and carry out the functions associated with that role effectively. In addition, the fact that there exists a reasonable and reasonably accessible alternative method of contacting individual members of staff, via the contact form on The National Archives website, further diminishes the argument that there would be any further value gained from the release of this additional information.

For more information about the publication of junior staff names, please see the following link:

https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1187/section_40_requests_for_personal_data_about_employees.pdf

For more general information about the section 40 exemption, please see the following link:
http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guidance_index/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/personal-information-section-40-and-regulation-13-foia-and-eir-guidance.pdf


Section 31: Law Enforcement

(1) Information which is not exempt information by virtue of section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice—
(a) The prevention or detection of crime

Section 31 is a qualified exemption. 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 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)(a) exemption.  Considerations in favour of the release of the information included the principle that there is a public interest in transparency and accountability through disclosure of information about government procedure and contracts.

However, release of this information would make The National Archives more vulnerable to crime; namely, a malicious attack on The National Archives' communications systems.  As such release of this information would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime (section 31(1)(a)) by making The National Archives' communications systems more vulnerable to hacking at a given time.  There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping government communications 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