Title: PSN IT Health Check
FOI request reference: F0047501
Response sent: December 2016
I was wondering if I could have the below answered for me please:
1) Date of The National Archive’s last PSN IT Health Check
2) Name of the organisation that carried this work out
3) Due date of The National Archive’s next PSN IT Health Check
4) Selection process for vendors for The National Archive’s next PSN IT Health check
5) Named contact for the above
Thank you for your enquiry of 16 November 2016, in which you requested information about PSN IT Health Checks at The National Archives.
Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000.
The FOI Act gives you the right to know whether we hold the information you want and to have it communicated to you subject to any exemptions which may apply.
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 to you below.
1. Q4 2015
2. Information Risk Management (IRM)
3. Q1 2017
4. The selection process is on the basis of fair and open competition such as using G-Cloud or Crown Commercial Service frameworks
5. The Head of IT Operations at The National Archives is Julian Muller. If you wish to contact The National Archives, please use the contact form at the following address:
We are unable to provide you with the specific date of The National Archives last/next PSN IT Health Check because this information is exempt from disclosure under section 31 (1) (a) of the FOI Act.
We are also unable to provide you with the named contact for PSN IT Health Checks at The National Archives because it would identify a junior member of staff and as such is exempt from release under section 40(2) of the FOI Act. However, at The National Archives we apply 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.
For further information about why these exemptions have 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 31: Law Enforcement
We are unable to provide you with the specific date of The National Archives last/next PSN IT Health Check 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 is 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 procedure and contracts. 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’ 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:
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
If you would like to contact us again regarding
this request, please contact the helpdesk:
via e-mail: By replying to this e-mail
or (020 8876 3444)
Remember to quote your call reference number: F0047501 in any
correspondence, as this will assist us in providing you with a