Internet services at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0049825
Publication date: August 2017

Outcome

Successful

Request and Response

In relation to contract 1 and 2 can you please send me the contract information relating to not only lines but also channels and SIPs?

As mentioned in our previous response of the 11th July 2017 The National Archives has recently installed a cloud based telephony system which does not require the use of fixed lines. As such we do not hold information pertaining to current fixed lines related to telephony. We do have a number of broadband connections, that use fixed lines (ADSL), but these are not for telephony.

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

BT (Broadband connections)

Adept Telecom plc. provide data circuits that are used for a cloud based telephony service (see 15, below)

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

Rolling (BT)

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 the Annex.

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

Rolling (BT)

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

ADSL

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

22 x ADSL circuits

Contract 2

6. Minutes/Landline Provider- Supplier’s name (NOT Mobiles) if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

8×8 – They provide a cloud based telephony service that does not rely upon traditional landlines

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.

Qtr 3 2019-2020

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 the Annex.

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

£5K p/month

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

3 years with an option to extend

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

650

If the contract for 3 and 4 still remain please provide me with an update:

15. WAN Provider- please provide me with the main supplier(s) if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Adept Telecon plc.
Vodafone (PSN)

16. WAN 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

Adept – Q4 2019-2020
Vodafone (PSN) – rolling, billing quarterly

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 the Annex.

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

Adept Telecon plc. – ISP services and 2 x Data circuits (one primary and one backup/failover) also used for 8×8 cloud based telephony service
Vodafone (PSN) – PSN/GCF 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.

Adept Telecon plc. – £22.5K
Vodafone (PSN) – £60K

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 the Annex.

Explanatory annex

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 their personal account, which would be unfair in that it would have a considerable detrimental impact upon their ability to perform their 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