Successful (some information withheld)
Dear FOI Officer,
I would like to submit a Freedom of Information Request relating to specific ICT contract(s) for Server Hardware Maintenance, Server Virtualisation License and Maintenance and Storage Area Network Maintenance/Support which may include:
Server Hardware Maintenance- contract relating to the support and maintenance of the organisations servers.
Virtualisation Licensing (VMware, Solaris, Unix, Linux, Windows Server)-
Virtualisation Maintenance/Support (VMware, Solaris, Unix, Linux, Windows Server)
Storage Area Network Maintenance/Support (EMC, NetApp etc)
For each of the types of server ICT contracts above can you please send me the following data types:
- Contract Title:
- Contract Type: Please input one the type of contract from above e.g. Hardware Maintenance, Virtualisation, Licensing. Virtualisation, Maintenance/Support, Storage Area Network Maintenance
- Existing/Current Supplier:
- Hardware Brand: Please state the hardware or software brand related to the contract with supplier e.g. Hardware Maintenance could be Dell, IBM etc
- Operating System / Software(Platform): (Windows, Linux, Unix, VMWare etc.) the brand name relating to the contract.
- Annual Average Spend: (For the whole duration of the contract, if the total value sent is per annum please state this in the response)
- Contract Duration: (Please can you also include notes if the contract includes any contract extension periods.)
- Contract Expiry Date:
- Contract Review Date: (An approximate date of when the organisation is planning to review this particular contract.)
- Brief Contract Description: I require a brief description of the service provided under this contract.
- Internal Contact: (The person from within the organisation that is responsible for reviewing and renewing this particular contract. Please include there full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address.)
If there is more than one supplier for these contract can you please split the contract individually for each supplier. So the information above which I am requesting is for each supplier.
If this service is part of a managed contract please can you send me the contract information for this managed service including Hardware Brand, Number of Users, Operating System, and contact details of the internal contact responsible for this contract.
Thank you for your enquiry of 09 September 2015, in which you asked for information about IT contracts 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. We are pleased to be able to provide some of this information in the attached spreadsheet.
The National Archives’ contracts are tendered by two different internal departments. Contracts 1-12 are maintained by our Information and Communication Technology (ICT) team while contracts 13 – 20 are handled by our Digital Archiving Infrastructure team.
In your request you asked for information regarding the operating system/software (platform) used with our contracts.
The National Archives uses a variety of supported Windows Server Operating system in connection with the HP Server contracts managed by our ICT team. These are licensed through the Microsoft Enterprise Agreement (via Computacenter).
The HP servers used in the Digital Records Infrastructure (DRI) system utilise the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server operating system and the appropriate licences have been purchased through the following suppliers – Computacenter, CSA Waverley and SCC.
Unfortunately, we are unable to provide you with some of the information you have requested.
You asked for the full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address of the National Archives employee who is responsible for reviewing and renewing our contracts.
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. For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.
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 ICT at The National Archives is Julian Muller, who is responsible for contracts 1-12.
The Head of Digital Archiving Infrastructure is Diana Newton, who is responsible for the contracts 13-20.
All email addresses at The National Archives take the format:
If you wish to contact The National Archives, please use the contact form at the following address:
Some of the information you have requested is also covered by the exemption at section 31(1) (a) FOIA. This exempts information if its disclosure is likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime and relates to specific expiry and renewal dates as well as specific hardware versions of the contracts detailed in the attached spreadsheet. 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:
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives
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.
Freedom of Information Centre
Transfer and Access Department
The National Archives
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.
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’ computer systems. As such release of this information would 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:
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