Further, Post Office considers that disclosure of information requested about updates
to the Horizon system would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of Post
Office and other commercial partners, in that software updates for the Horizon system
are released on a regular basis to ensure that operational performance is maintained
at optimal levels, as you would expect for any large IT system. Such updates include,
for example, upgrades and improvements to functionality; and the introduction of new
business capabilities for products & services and are, therefore, considered to be
Post Office in this respect considers that disclosure of the information would weaken
its position in a competitive environment, by revealing information which could be
unfairly used by its competitors.
Post Office also relies upon the exemption under Section 31(1)(a) of the FOIA,
concerning law enforcement. Post Office considers that disclosure of this information
would be likely to inhibit its abilities to prevent and detect crime, in that software
updates for the Horizon system are released on a regular basis to ensure that
operational performance is maintained at optimal levels, as you would expect for any
large IT system. Such updates include, for example, security-related matters and
Depending on the nature and extent of changes they are applied in carefully managed
periodic releases, following thorough impact assessment and testing. The Post Office
cannot make public information that could compromise the security of its systems and
I am unable therefore to provide you with technical details of our software updates.
As information has been exempted under Section 43(2) and Section 31(1)(a) of the
act, a public interest test applies. This involves weighing the balance of public interest
in maintaining the exemption or releasing the information. Post Office understands
that there is public interest in promoting the transparency and understanding of
matters which are of interest to the public. However, there is also strong public
interest in ensuring that Post Office is able to operate in a fair marketplace in relation
to its commercial activities and that the integrity its process and systems is protected
from fraudulent or other criminal activity. This is equally applicable to the interests of
its commercial partners, who should not suffer security or commercial detriments as a
result of inappropriate disclosure of the information.
Accordingly, Post Office considers that the public interest is best served by
maintaining the exemption respect of the information requested.
Post Office further considers that were it seeking to answer your question costs limits
would likely apply.
I hope the information I have provided on this occasion is useful, however if you are
dissatisfied with the handling of this response, you do have a right to request an
internal review. You can do this by writing to the address below stating your reasons
for your internal review request.
Information Rights Manager
Post Office Limited
Information Rights Team
20 Finsbury Street
If, having requested an internal review by Post Office, you are still not satisfied with
our response you also have a right of appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Telephone: 01625 545 700
Information Rights Team