Headquarters Joint Force Development
Defence Academy of the UK
Swindon SN6 8LA
16th November 2020
Dear Mr Austin,
Further to my previous letter of 30 October 2020, I am writing to inform you that we have concluded the
public interest tests for the information identified as being in scope of your request for:
“I would like to understand the relationship between MOD and Kings College London (KCL). I
understand staff from KCL teach at the defence academy. Could you please let me know whether
these are MOD employees, or are they outsourced by serco? I would be grateful if you could
please summarise the relationship between KCL and MOD in relation to the Defence Academy
Shrivenham, and if necessary, please detail any contracts in place in relation to teaching at the
Academy and any contractual costs or the costs paid for the provision of teaching.”
I will address your request in two parts, firstly the relationship between Kings College London (KCL)
and MOD, and secondly, contractual costs.
1. The MOD does not have a direct contractual relationship with KCL in relation to the Defence
Academy at Shrivenham. KCL does provide academic services to the Defence Academy
through the Joint Services Command Staff College (JSCSC) Private Finance Initiative (PFI)
contract with Defence Management (Watchfield) Ltd (DM(W)L). DM(W)L sub-contract all
services provided under this contract to Serco. Serco in turn sub-contract KCL for the provision
of military education to the Defence Academy’s JSCSC. The scope of academic activities
provided by KCL under this contract can be found at Annex A to this letter.
2. The Defence Academy also have a direct contract with KCL for the provision of academic
support at the Royal College of Defence Studies (RCDS) in London. RCDS operates
independently from the JSCSC PFI.
3. You will recall that we considered some of the information to fall within the scope of exemptions
provided for at Section 43 of the FOIA (Commercial Interests). Section 43 (2) considers
information which if released is likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person. A
person may be an individual, a company, the MOD, or any other legal entity. Disclosing the
information requested would be likely to prejudice future competitive exercises by the
contractor. It could also result in KCL, and other companies, being reluctant to provide
commercially sensitive information to the MOD.
Section 43 is a qualified exemption and is subject to public interest testing which means that the
information requested can only be withheld if the public interest in doing so outweighs the public
interest in disclosure. Careful consideration was given as to whether the contractual details you
requested. According to the outcome of the public interest tests we are withholding details of
If you have any queries regarding the content of this letter, please contact this office in the first
instance. Following this, if you wish to complain about the handling of your request, or the content of
this response, you can request an independent internal review by contacting the Information Rights
Compliance team, Ground Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A 2HB (e-mail CIO-FOI-
. Please note that any request for an internal review should be made within 40 working
days of the date of this response.
If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may raise your complaint directly to the
Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the Freedom of Information Act. Please
note that the Information Commissioner will not normally investigate your case until the MOD internal
review process has been completed. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Further details of
the role and powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner's website at https://ico.org.uk/.
The scope of the academic activities shall include but not be limited to:
a. Contributing to course development and scheduling, in accordance
with JSP 822 and subject to a validated requirement, overseen by
the JSCSC’s Customer Executive Board.
b. Preparation and amendment of designated study material, including
c. Lecturing whole courses, or portions thereof, on designated subjects
within the individual’s specialist ambit.
d. Conducting group discussions and seminars.
e. Marking and assessing students’ written and verbal work where
Advising individual students in producing major papers.
g. Providing advice and support to other of the Authority’s organisations.
h. Research in direct support of designated subject areas and the
JSCSC’s wider research objectives and to sustain its required
In consultation with the Authority’s staff, evaluating courses to ensure
that course and student objectives are continually met.
Provide expertise in broadly the following areas:
Policy, strategy and military doctrine.
ii. Historical perspectives and lessons drawn from past military
iii. Principles of individual and group behaviour in organisations,
military and other.
iv. UK political, social and economic structures.
v. Formulation of UK foreign and defence policy.
vi. International relations.
vii. Alliances and supranational organisations
viii. Principles of strategic and financial management.
ix. Maritime strategy, airpower theory and practice and the strategy
of land warfare.
x. Defence economics.