Financial systems and software at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0053319
Publication date: August 2018



Request and Response

Please can you furnish us with the following information;

1. The name and version numbers of;
a. Financial Management / Accounting software and add on modules used
Infor SUN; Infor Q&A Vision; Professional Advantage Advanced Inquiry; Draycir Spindle (version numbers withheld under Section 31 – see explanatory annex below)
b. Purchasing software used – Professional Advantage IPOS
c. Business intelligence / reporting software used – Professional Advantage Jet
2. The name of the organisation that supplies the ongoing support and maintenance of the software listed above – Sapphire Systems plc
3. The original purchase date of the above software – This information is no longer held
4. The renewal date of the ongoing support and maintenance arrangement – Information exempt under section 31(1)(a) – see explanatory annex below
5. The cost of the annual support and maintenance arrangement for Financial Years 16/17 – £48,746, 17/18 – £43,756 and 18/19 – £50,976 (forecast)


Exemptions applied
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
We are unable to provide you with the specific renewal dates of contracts or software version numbers as this information is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1) (a) of the FOI Act.
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 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 be seen to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime by making The National Archives’ computer system more vulnerable to malicious activities. 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 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: