Telephone maintenance contracts at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0060443
Publication date: January 2020

Outcome

Successful

 

Request & response 

We can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide this information to you.

We are unable to provide you with some of the information you have requested, however, because it is covered by the exemption at section 31 (1) (a) of the FOI Act, which exempts information if disclosure would prejudice the prevention or detection of crime. For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

 

Some of the information is also covered by the exemption at section 40(2) of the FOIA. This exempts the release of personal information about a ‘third party’ (someone other than the requester), if revealing it would break the terms of Data Protection Legislation. For further information about why this exemption has been applied, please see the explanatory Annex at the end of this letter.

 

Please see below for the answers to your questions:

 

1. Contract Type: Maintenance, Managed, Shared (If so please state orgs)

Hosted Software as a Service (SaaS)

2. Existing Supplier: If there is more than one supplier please split each contract up individually.

8×8 UK Ltd

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

£100,000
4. Hardware Brand: The primary hardware brand of the organisation’s telephone system.

Information regarding hardware and software brands is exempt under section 31 (1) (a) of the FOI Act.

5. Number of telephone users:

528

6. Contract Duration: please include any extension periods.

24 months with two extensions of 12 months each

7. Contract Expiry Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year.

Original contract expiry date is Qtr 4 FY 2018-19

Information regarding specific start and end dates is exempt under section 31 (1) (a) of the FOI Act.

8. Contract Review Date: Please provide me with the day/month/year.

We do not hold this information

9. Application(s) running on PBX/VOIP systems: Applications that run on the actual PBX or VOIP system. E.g. Contact Centre, Communication Manager.

8×8 Virtual Office and Contact Centre proprietary applications

10. Telephone System Type: PBX, VOIP, Lync etc

VoIP

11. Contract Description: Please provide me with a brief description of the overall service provided under this contract.

Fully hosted SaaS solution

12. Go to Market: How where these services procured, please provide me with either the tender notice or the framework reference number. Please specify if procured through other routes.

Network Services Agreement RM1045, Framework Schedule 4

13. 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.

We are unable to provide you with this information because it would identify junior members 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.

The Head of IT Operations at The National Archives is Julian Muller.
The National Archives’ full contact options can be found on our website here: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

 

EXPLANATORY ANNEX:

Exemptions applied:

Section 31: Law Enforcement
We are unable to provide you with information regarding software brands and specific contract start/end dates 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 hacking. 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:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1207/law-enforcement-foi-section-31.pdf

 

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 this information represents the personal information of junior members of staff at The National Archives.

Publishing the names and contact details of junior members of staff is considered an unfair use of personal data. 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 Art. 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation. As such, the names, positions and contact details of junior officials are withheld under section 40 (2) of the FOI Act.

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?