Telecommunications contracts

FOI request reference: F0041265
Publication date: March 2015

Request

Please can you send me the following contract information with regards to the organisation’s telephone system maintenance contract (VOIP or PBX, other) for hardware and Software maintenance and support:

1. Contract Type: Maintenance, Managed, Shared (If so please state orgs)
2. Existing Supplier: If there is more than one supplier please split each contract up individually.
3. Annual Average Spend: The annual average spend for this contract and please provide the average spend over the past 3 years for each provider
4. Number of Users:
5. Hardware Brand: The primary hardware brand of the organisation’s telephone system.
6. Application(s) running on PBX/VOIP systems: Applications that run on the actual PBX or VOIP system. E.g. Contact Centre, Communication Manager.
7. Telephone System Type: PBX, VOIP, Lync etc
8. Contract Duration: please include any extension periods.
9. Contract Expiry Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year.
10. Contract Review Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year.
11. Contract Description: Please provide me with a brief description of the overall service provided under this contract.
12. Contact Detail: Of the person from with the organisation responsible for each contract full Contact details including full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address.

If the service support area has more than one provider for telephone maintenance then can you please split each contract up individually for each provider.

If the contract is a managed service or is a contract that provides more than just telephone maintenance please can you send me all of the information specified above including the person from with the organisation responsible for that particular contract.

If the maintenance for telephone systems is maintained in-house please can you provide me with:

1. Number of Users:
2. Hardware Brand: The primary hardware brand of the organisation’s telephone system.
3. Application(s) running on PBX/VOIP systems: Applications that run on the actual PBX or VOIP system. E.g. Contact Centre, Communication Manager.
4. Contact Detail: Of the person from with the organisation responsible for telephone maintenance full Contact details including full name, job title, direct contact number and direct email address.

Also if the contract is due to expire please provide me with the likely outcome of the expiring contract.

If this is a new contract or a new supplier please can you provide me with a short list of suppliers that bid on this service/support contract?

Outcome

Partially successful

Response

Contract type: Maintenance and support

Existing supplier: Daisy Communications (sub-contract with DV02)

Annual average spend over the past 3 years: 2015 – £25,176.00, 2014 – £30,244.00, 2013 – £30,244.00

Number of users: 1207

Hardware brand: Aastra (now owned by Mitel)

Application(s) running on PBX/VOIP systems: Contact Centre System, DECT Server, Extension Manager, Directory Manager, IP/PBX System, Speech Recognition Server, Voice Mail Server Call Recording System and Call Logging System.

Telephone system type: PBX

Contract duration: 12 months

Contract expiry date: 3rd quater, 2015

Contract review date: 2nd quater, 2015

We are unable to provide you with specific details of expiry and renewal dates for these contracts because this information is exempt from disclosure under section 31(1)(a) of the FOIA.  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 as such we are required to conduct a Public Interest Test.  For the results of this test and a full explanation of this exemption and why it has been applied please see the explanatory annex at the end of this letter.

Contract description: The contract is maintenance and support for the items that make up the telephony ‘solution’ (listed above) with the supplier (as above).

Contact details: Alec Mulinder, IT Service Delivery Manager at The National Archives.  If you would like to contact The National Archives contact details are available on our website.

Likely outcome of the expiring contract: For a request to be a valid request for information under the FOIA it must be a request for recorded information ‘held’ by a public authority (section 1(1)(a)).  Any comment on the ‘likely’ outcome of the expiring contract would be speculation.  However, we can advise you that when contracts such as this expire it is procedure for the contract to go back out on a relevant Government Framework.

Short list of suppliers that bid on this contract: The only supplier to bid on the framework was Daisy Communications.

Explanatory Annex

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

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 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 30 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 (section 31(1)(a)) by making The National Archives’ computer system more vulnerable to hacking at a given time.  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 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.