Please could you provide the name of the supplier(s) who provides CCTV systems to your department as well as the brand and total number of cameras included.
Please also state the length of the contract with any such supplier(s) and the annual cost of the contract.
We are unable to provide you with information regarding security arrangements because this information is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1)(a) of the FOI Act. Section 31(1)(a) exempts information if its disclosure would or would be 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 FOI Act 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 in disclosing information about government security. 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 security systems. As such release of this information would be seen to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime by making The National Archives’ systems and buildings vulnerable. There is an overwhelming public interest in keeping government buildings secure which would be served by non-disclosure. This would outweigh any benefits of release. As has been the case under successive administrations, it is not government policy to comment on the security arrangements of government buildings. Specific details regarding the make and model of security systems are withheld on national security grounds.
It has therefore been 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: