Location of Post Offices

Stuart Harrsion made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited
This authority is not subject to FOI law, so is not legally obliged to respond (details).


This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was refused by Royal Mail Group Limited.

Dear Royal Mail Group Limited,

Please can you provide me with the data used to populate the branch finder at:

http://www.royalmail.com/branch-finder?c...

I would prefer the data in CSV or a similar easy to parse format with the same data that is on the website (opening times, services provided, addresses etc) as well as location data (either in eastings/northings or lat/lng, whichever the easiest)

Thanking you in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Harrsion

Royal Mail Group Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Harrison,

Ref:  CALS-8XVHAT

Thank you for your request for information received on 06 September 2012,
which we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the
Act you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 04 October 2012, which
is twenty working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons for this and giving
a revised date by which we will reply.  

If in the meantime you have any questions or would like to contact us
about your request, please contact us by telephone 0207 250 2647 or
alternatively email or write to us at the address below.  Please be
assured that we are giving this our attention and will get back to you
shortly.

Yours sincerely

Cory Alexis

Freedom of Information Support
1^st Floor, Bunhill Row Wing
148 Old Street
London
EC1V 9HQ

Post Office Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Registered No.
2154540. Registered Office 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ. Post Office
and the Post Office logo are registered trademarks of Post Office Ltd.

Royal Mail Group Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Harrison,

Ref: Freedom of Information Request – CALS-8XVHAT

I am writing in response to your email received on 06 September 2012,
which I am dealing with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act
2000.

In your letter you have requested information to the following question:

Please can you provide me with the data used to populate the branch
finder
at:[1]http://www.royalmail.com/branch-finder?c...

I would prefer the data in CSV or a similar easy to parse format with the
same data that is on the website (opening times, services provided,
addresses etc) as well as location data (either in
eastings/northings or lat/lng, whichever the easiest)

I can confirm that we do hold a list of all our branches within the United
Kingdom.  However, under section 21 of the Act, we are not required to
provide information in response to a request if it is already reasonably
accessible to you.

The information used to populate the branch finder is published and
available from the branch finder on our website at:
[2]http://www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/fi....

On the branch finder, you can search for all branches by town or postcode.
 The search results will list branches in the area requested.  You can
also click on the ‘view details’ button next to each address to view the
opening hours for that branch along with a map of its location as well as
carrying out further searches by post office services offered in a certain
area.

Additionally, it may help to explain why the branch finder is always the
most accurate way for our customers to identify up to date and accurate
information. With a network of around 11,800 branches there are constant
daily changes including branches that may change operating hours or
relocate to new sites. By providing a list of branches, the information
would be out of date in a very short period of time.  

I can also confirm that Post Office Ltd does not hold location data for
eastings/northings or lat/Ing, the map information contained on the branch
finder is generated from the postcode.

I am sorry that I could not provide you with all of the information you
have requested on this occasion but do hope you find the branch finder a
useful tool. If I can be of further help or you have any queries about
this response please contact me via the email address
[3][Royal Mail Group request email].

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of this response, you do have a
right to request an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted to:

Head of Information Compliance
Royal Mail Group
Company Secretary's Office
100 Victoria Embankment
LONDON
EC4Y 0HQ
[4][Royal Mail Group request email]  

If, having requested an internal review by Royal Mail, you are still not
satisfied with our response you also have a right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
[5]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Kerry Moodie

Freedom of Information Unit
1^st Floor, Bunhill Row Wing
148 Old Street
London
EC1V 9HQ

Post Office Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Registered No.
2154540. Registered Office 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ. Post Office
and the Post Office logo are registered trade marks of Post Office Ltd

References

Visible links
1. http://www.royalmail.com/branch-finder?c...
2. http://www.postoffice.co.uk/portal/po/fi...
3. mailto:[Royal Mail Group request email]
4. mailto:[Royal Mail Group request email]
5. http://www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk/

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

Stuart,

I suspect you don't need me to point this out. However: Royal Mail's response is obviously wrong. In your position I would ask for an internal review.

You have clearly requested the bulk data, which is not reasonably accessible via the Branch finder.

(You could probably scrape the data, but in formulating their FOI response Royal Mail are not entitled to assume you have that expertise unless you've told them so.)

-- Owen Boswarva

Dear Royal Mail Group Limited,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Royal Mail Group Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Location of Post Offices'.

My request was refused as you claim that you provide the information I requested via the online Branch Finder. However, I requested all of the data in bulk, which is not reasonably accessibly via the branch finder on the Royal Mail website.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/lo...

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Harrsion

Royal Mail Group Limited

Dear Mr Harrsion

Re: Internal Review under the Freedom of Information Act

Thank you for your email received 24/09/2012 requesting an internal review
of Royal Mail Group’s reply to your request for information under the
Freedom of Information Act 2000. This is receiving our attention and we
will write to you again once the internal review has been concluded.

In accordance with guidelines from the Information Commissioner’s Office,
Royal Mail will answer all appeals and requests for internal review of FOI
requests as soon as it reasonably can. This will usually be within 20
working days and in any case no later than 40 days from receipt of the
appeal.

In the meantime if you have any questions or would like to add any further
information for consideration then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

MF Khushi
Company Secretary's Office

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in England
and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,
LONDON, EC4Y 0HQ

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Fabrizio left an annotation ()

Well, please ensure the Royal Mail updates the information on THEIR database first! I ve just walked 40 minutes to two branches listed on their website. One of them was closed (in spite of opening hours saying the opposite) and the other doesn t exist anymore!

FOI, Royal Mail Group Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Harrsion,

 

Please find attached a response to your recent Freedom of Information
Request Internal Review. I am sorry for the length of time taken to
respond to you on this matter. We aim to complete all internal reviews
within 20 working days of receiving them or 40 days for more complicated
cases. In this case was not possible to complete the review of your
requests within 20 working days; I apologise for any inconvenience this
may have caused you.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Daniel Tulp
Company Secretary's Office

Information Rights Officer
[1][Royal Mail Group request email]

 

Royal Mail is a trading name of Royal Mail Group Ltd. Registered in
England and Wales.
Registered number 4138203. Registered office at 100 Victoria Embankment,
LONDON, EC4Y 0HQ

 

show quoted sections

Adrian Short left an annotation ()

If this information is "reasonably accessible" then perhaps someone from Royal Mail could demonstrate how easy it is to extract all the branch finder data into a spreadsheet with 11,800 rows.

Over to you, Royal Mail. Should only take a moment given how easy it is.

Stuart Harrsion left an annotation ()

I've complained to the ICO, and will update this request in due course.

Stuart Harrsion left an annotation ()

I've complained to the ICO, and will update this request in due course.

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

What an extraordinary internal review response. All that stuff about the Royal Mail's Publication Scheme, and the selective quotation from ICO guidance, is largely beside the point. It doesn't address the key issue of whether the bulk data is "reasonably accessible" in this case.

The ICO guidance from which Mr Young has quoted is here:

Awareness guidance 29: Means of communication
http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/l...

That guidance was last updated in 2008. It therefore does not reflect the "right to data" additions to Section 11 of FOIA introduced earlier this year in Part 6 of the Protection of Freedoms Act:

Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, Part 6
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012...

Under those additions "the public authority must, so far as reasonably practicable, provide the information to the applicant in an electronic form which is capable of re-use".

That doesn't mean the Royal Mail actually has to license the data for re-use. However it does have to provide the data in a re-usable format. Clearly the Royal Mail's response is not compliance with Section 11 as currently enacted.

-- Owen Boswarva, 26/10/2012

Owen Boswarva left an annotation ()

A correction to my note above: although the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 itself was enacted in May, the amendments to FOIA in Part 6 are not yet in force.

That's unfortunate, as the "right to data" is ostensibly intended to bolster this type of request for access to data.

However it's still pretty clear that the bulk post office data is not "reasonably accessible", so an appeal to the ICO remains worthwhile.

-- Owen Boswarva, 26/10/2012

Peter D Johnson,

8 Attachments

Dear Mr Harrison,

 

Ref: Freedom of Information Request – CALS-8XVHAT

 

I am writing with reference to your recent request for information about
data used to populate the Branch Finder, of which we are currently in
dialogue with the Information Commissioners Office in relation to your
subsequent complaint.

 

Although Post Office Ltd continues to consider the information requested
as accessible to you through the Branch Finder, we would like to provide
you with some assistance in this matter.

 

There are a very small number of branches that are not generally
accessible to the general public and these are not included in the Branch
Finder. Missing branches include, for example, those situated on RAF bases
and in Government or Royal Buildings, as well as branches used for
training purposes only. In the spirit of providing assistance I have
attached a list of these branches, detailing branch addresses, opening
hours and the availability of non-standard products.

 

I hope you find this additional information of value. Please feel free to
contact me if you have any questions.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Pete

 

Peter D Johnson I Senior Engagement & Involvement Manager
[1]Description: split

[2]Description: 148 Old Street, LONDON, EC1V 9HQ
address
[3]Description: [4][email address]
email
[5]Description: [6]Post Office stories
web
[7]Description: [8]@postofficenews
twitter

[9]Description: footer

 

Attachment: Branches not listed on the Branch Finder

 

Post Office Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Registered No.
2154540. Registered Office 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ. Post Office
and the Post Office logo are registered trade marks of Post Office Ltd

 

 

 

Peter D Johnson I Senior Engagement & Involvement Manager
[10]Description: split

[11]Description:
address 148 Old Street, LONDON, EC1V 9HQ

 
 
[12]Description: 07850 775934 Mobex: 5365 3516
mobile
[13]Description: [14][email address]
email
[15]Description: [16]Post Office stories
web
[17]Description: [18]@postofficenews
twitter

[19]Description: footer

 

show quoted sections

Dave left an annotation ()

RAF Hemswell shut down in 1967

Makes you think what do these people know.

Wonder if they have told the subpostmaster yet?

Or even better maybe the subpostmaster hasn't told them and he is still getting paid.

Mark Goodge left an annotation ()

Any news on the appeal to the ICO?