Mail services at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0056162
Publication date: March 2019

Outcome

Successful

Request and Response

1. What are your annual outbound mail volumes for your last financial year? If available can you please provide the annual breakdown by mail pack sizes e.g. C5, C4.

We are unable to provide you with this information as to do so would exceed an appropriate cost limit. Consequently the information is considered exempt under section 12

2. What was your annual outbound mail expenditure for your last financial year? If available can you please provide the annual breakdown by mail pack types i.e. 2nd class, 1st class, Special Delivery etc?

The National Archives’ annual outbound mail expenditure for the last financial year was £30,292.

We are unable to provide you with a breakdown of this expenditure by mail pack types as to do so would exceed an appropriate cost limit. Consequently the information is considered exempt under section 12

3. What was your annual expenditure in your last financial year for mail franking machines?

The National Archives’ annual expenditure for mail franking machines was £7,572. This is comprised of £5,743 for machine rental and £1,829 for machine maintenance.

4. Do you insert any printed materials into your mail packs? If so, please provide volumes for your last financial year.

The National Archives does insert printed materials into some mail packs. We do not hold information concerning the volume of printed materials dispatched in the last financial year.

5. What was your expenditure in your last financial year on mailroom staff together with the number of FTEs in place?

The National Archives employs one member of mail room staff via our (Total Facilities Management) CCS TFM contract with Bouygues.

We are unable to provide you with information concerning expenditure on mailroom staff as this information constitutes the personal financial information of an identifiable individual and as such is exempt from release under section 40(2) of the FOI Act.

6. What is the level of automation you currently have for outbound mail?

The National Archives utilises a franking machine and postal scales when processing outbound mail.

7. Do you utilise a hybrid mail solution? If so, please confirm if the hybrid mail solution is on premise or outsourced?

The National Archives does not utilise a hybrid mail solution.

EXPLANATORY ANNEX

Exemptions applied

Section 12 – Section 12 – Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) makes provision for public authorities to refuse requests for information where the cost of dealing with them would exceed the appropriate limit, which for central government departments like The National Archives, is set at £600. This represents the estimated cost of one person spending just over three working days determining whether the department holds the information, as well as locating, retrieving and extracting the information.

We estimate that it will take us in excess of this to identify the appropriate information, and locate, retrieve and extract it in response to your request because it is so wide ranging. Therefore, the majority of your request will not be processed further. You may wish to consider refining your request. Further guidance can be found at:

http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guidance_index/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/costs_of_compliance_exceeds_appropriate_limit.pdf

We are unable to guarantee that any refined requests would fall within the cost limit.

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

Data Protection Legislation 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.
In this case the exemption applies because the information constitutes the personal financial information of an identifiable individual.

Further guidance can be found at:

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