The National Archives’ MongoDB cloud hosting contract

FOI request reference: CAS-70772-H1V2Q0
Publication date: October 2021

Request

Further to my records, MongoDB cloud hosting contract has expired. Can you please confirm whether this contract is extended or replaced by any other supplier. If so please provide the full information.

Outcome

Information witheld.

Response

The MongoDB cloud hosting contract expired on 30 September 2021. A new contract is now under negotiation, with the same supplier, via the G-Cloud 12 Framework.

Details of this new contract will be posted to Contracts Finder once it has been signed. As the requested information is intended for future publication it is consequently exempt under section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

For more information on the application of this exemption please see the explanatory annex at the end of this response.

EXPLANATORY ANNEX

Exemptions applied

Section 22: Information intended for future publication
Section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) exempts from release information intended for future publication if (a) the information is held by the public authority with a view to its publication, by the authority or any other person, at some future date (whether determined or not), or (b) the information was already held with a view to such publication at the time when the request for information was made, and or (c) it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a).

Section 22 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

We have considered whether it would be in the public interest for us to provide you with the information ahead of publication, despite the exemption being applicable. Please find below the reasoning for and against disclosure.

Arguments in favour of disclosure:
Disclosure of the requested information would demonstrate The National Archives’ commitment to being a transparent and accountable organisation and would increase public awareness of the work of the archives sector.

Releasing information at the current time would allow for contemporary discussion on IT procurement in government and would consequently enable and enrich public debate.

Arguments against disclosure:
There are public interest arguments against disclosure of this information at the present time. These arguments include that it is in the public interest to adhere to the existing publication process for government contracts, which includes time for the information to be gathered and properly verified before being placed in the public domain.

It is also in the public interest to ensure that the information is available to all members of the public at the same time, and premature publication could undermine the principle of making the information available to all at the same time through the official publication process.

Outcome of public interest test:
On this occasion, we have concluded that the balance of the public interest test falls in favour of withholding this information.

Further guidance on the application of this exemption can be found at:
https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1172/information-intended-for-future-publication-and-research-information-sections-22-and-22a-foi.pdf.