The Non-Commercial Government Licence is a National Archives standard licence and
part of the UK Government Licensing Framework. It is also one of the specified forms
of licence under the Section 45 Code of Practice on Datasets under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. It is therefore recognised as being an appropriate form of
licence for licensing re-use of public sector information and Post Office therefore did
not consider this form to unnecessarily restrict the way in which responses to a search
under Branch Finder can be used.
We also explained why using this method is the most accurate way for customers to
access up to date information, as information about our branches is constantly
Immediately following receipt of the response you made a further request, dated 14
March 2016 for an internal as follows:
First, referring to your response of 14th March 2016, I must ask you to reconsider
the licence under which you are allowing re-use of the information, pursuant to
whether or not you are complying with RoPSI r12(2)(a).
You will note that in my request I specifically asked for permission to re-use the
information under the terms of the Open Government Licence (OGL) v3 , since
my intended re-uses were (a) to help improve the mapping of Post Office branches
in OpenStreetMap, and (b) to make a consolidated dataset available to others in a
reusable electronic form under an open licence. Use (a) requires a licence which is
forwards compatible with the Open Database Licence (ODbL) , while use (b)
requires a licence which is "Open" (e.g. according to the Open Definition ). The
OGL would be sufficient for both of these uses.
The licence that you offered me was the Non-Commercial Government Licence .
Unfortunately this licence is neither forwards compatible with the ODbL nor Open
(as it restricts usage to non-commercial endeavours). Therefore neither of my
intended re-uses would be possible under this licence. Thus it is clear that your
imposition of this licence restricts the way in which the information can be re-used.
To comply with RoPSI r12(2)(a), any such restrictions must be "necessary". In
your response you have not made a case for this restriction to be "necessary" at
all, and indeed I can see no reason why it would be. Surely it can only be in your
interests to have information about the locations of your Post Office Branches as
widely available as possible, so why you are deliberately trying to hamper the
efforts of OpenStreetMap to better map your branches is beyond me.
Secondly, under RoPSIR r11(1)(b) could you please now make all the information
available through your branch-finder also available in an open and machine-
readable format. I would suggest that a CSV file containing all the displayed
records from your Branch database would be most appropriate. However, if that is
not practicable, then a raw database dump (as required by r11(1)(a)) would
probably do instead. (I am aware that you already make some of the information
available at http://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/modernising-post-office , but I
believe that you are now required by RoPSI to make the rest similarly available.)
Post Office has carried out an internal review of your request for information and the
way your request has been handled by the Information Rights Team, as set out below.
2. Timescale for response
We note your complaint; however we consider that we replied by such time as is
reasonable in the circumstances. We provided you with updates on the delay on 20
November 2015, 18 December 2015, 25 February 2016 and 13 April 2016 in addition
to acknowledgements to each of your communications.
Post Office is undergoing significant change which requires Post Office to consider the
wider implications of intended improvements. Unfortunately, this affected the
timescale of our response and we apologise for any delays in our responses.
3. Request for Re-Use of Branch Finder Information
In regards to your request to review our decision to re-use Branch Finder information
(name, address, opening times, service details etc.) that is displayed in response to
searches using our Branch Finder tool under an Open Government Licence, I have to
advise that our decision that was communicated to you on 14 March 2016 remains
unchanged and you are permitted to re-use this information under the terms of the
Non-Commercial Government Licence because this recognised as being an appropriate
form of licence for licensing the re-use of public sector information.
I trust that this now satisfies your request. In the event that you remain unhappy with
the handling of this request, you also have a right to appeal to the Information
Commissioner who can be contacted at the address below:
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Information Rights Manager
Information Rights Team