Telephony systems and mobile phone contracts

FOI request reference: F0062827
Publication date: August 2020

Outcome
Successful.

Request and response
Telephony System
1. What is your current telephony system?
VoIP Software as a Service (SaaS)

2. How many users of the telephony system?
627

3. When is the contract up for renewal?
Qtr 4 FY 2020-21

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

4. If it isn’t a VoIP system, will that be a consideration for the next contract cycle?
N/A

5. The email address of the primary contact for this contract?
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 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: http://apps.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

6. Current annual spend?
Annual average spend £90,000 for all services

Mobile phones
1. Who is your current mobile phone provider?
EE

2. How many mobile connections?
160

3. When is the contract up for renewal?
Qtr 3 FY 2020-21

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

4. How long do you contract for (24 or 36 months)?
This varies depending on the circumstances prevailing at the time

5. The email address of the primary contact for this contract?
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 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: http://apps.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/

6. Current annual spend?
Annual average spend £18,000
Crown Commercial Services frameworks
1. Do you procure through the Networks Services 2 framework? (RM3808 previously RM1045)
Yes

2. Do you procure through the G-Cloud framework?
Yes
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?