Mod land boundaries

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Defence Infrastructure Organisation should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Defence Infrastructure Organisation,

Could you please provide me, under environmental information request rules, a copy of the following information in a GIS compatible format (such as Arcgis compatible shape file or Google Earth compatible.kml/.kmz) so far as is compatible with the needs of national security.

1) ministry of defence / dio land ownership boundaries within the United Kingdom for all landholdings
2) ministry of defence / Dio land ownership boundaries within the United Kingdom for all areas open for public access (either on a permanent basis or restricted access basis)
3) ministry of defence / dio land ownership boundaries within the United Kingdom for range danger areas where public access is excludes either permanently or at times
4) any data set revealing or cataloguing roads/vehicular access tracks or other paths on MOD land which is open for public access, or land generally

I raise particularly at this point that in any assessment of public interest in the release of such information, I would strongly argue that access to information under points 2-4 that release of information pertaining to land that they are either entitled to access or forbidden to enter for safety reasons would carry an obvious public benefit

Yours faithfully,

kieran foster

DIO Sec-Parli (MULTIUSER), Defence Infrastructure Organisation

 

Dear Mr Foster

 

Your request has been logged under our reference 2019/05326 and the target
date for response is 05/06/2019.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

DIO Secretariat

DIO Sec-Parli (MULTIUSER), Defence Infrastructure Organisation

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Foster

Please see attached correspondence for your attention.

Regards,

Secretariat Parliamentary Team 
Corporate Governance | Defence Infrastructure Organisation  
Kingston Road | Sutton Coldfield | B75 7RL   
Email: [email address

show quoted sections

Dear Defence Infrastructure Organisation,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Defence Infrastructure Organisation's handling of my FOI request 'Mod land boundaries'.

In your response you state that "I am treating your correspondence as a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). Your request does not fall within the remit of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004"

I wish to request formal review of this decision.

Section 2 of the Environmental Information Regulations 2014 states that “environmental information” includes any information in written, visual, aural, electronic or any other data referring to:
(c)measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;

I contend that this clearly includes the ownership of property by the ministry of defence, given the fact that all such land:
i) Is subject to the policies and administrative measures laid out in Joint Service Protocols
ii) Is subject to the environmental management polices in place within the Ministry of Defence
iii) will be subject to activities an uses, including military training, which are likely to affect the physical nature of the land, water or biodiversity of that land, or which may otherwise effect the nature of the land or factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment as a result of that use.

Additional attention is drawn to Information Commissioners Guidance that property search data held by local authorities falls within EIR regulations.

additionally, the EIR regulations 2014 also go on to state that information held which refers to:

(f)the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in (b) and (c);

I would contend that such also applies here quite specifically in my request for information referring to both military firing ranges and publically accessible areas clearly has a direct relevance to health and safety issues, and as such falls within EIR regulations. As I stated in my original letter, release of information pertaining to land that the public are either entitled to accessor recreational purposes or forbidden to enter for safety reasons due to military training or live firing would clearly falls within the EIR regulations definition of the state of human health and safety.

Regards the additional comments in your letter under section 16 (advice) that the MOD does not hold such data in a GIS compatible format - I wish to request review of this advice, as I believe this to be incorrect - in fact there is an example of Ministry of Defence boundary data submitted to Surrey Country Council under S31(6) of the highways act:

https://online.surreycc.gov.uk/env/right...

A further example is witnessed here:

https://online.surreycc.gov.uk/env/right...

These printed map have been extracted from Data held by Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) Geospatial information services department - DIO proudly state on there own website that they are "part of the Ministry of Defence". It is notable that the filename title published on these maps suggests that the maps have been created as .mxd files - this is indicative that the file was created in MXD (Map Exchange Document) format - a format utilised in GIS software such a ArcGIS allowing map data to be stored and transferred. This along with the very existence of a geospatial services department suggests that MOD boundary data and MOD public access and range area boundaries are in fact held in a GIS compatible format. It also suggests to me that the costs estimate indicated of ten days work to collate and format the requested data is unrealistic, as these files and mappings show that boundary data clearly is already held in a GIS compatible format.

Attention is also drawn to the MOD's responsibilities under government INSPIRE regulations that govern the public availability of spatial data. Spatial data is any data with a direct or indirect reference to a specific location or geographical area. Spatial data is often referred to as geospatial data or geographic information. As such there is an additional duty fo the MOD to publish any data held under these regulations.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/m...

Yours faithfully,

kieran foster

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Dear Mr Foster,

 

Receipt is acknowledged of your email of 3 June 2019 in which you
requested an internal review of the response provided by the Defence
Infrastructure Organisation on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in
relation to a recent information request (FOI2019/05326).

 

The Department's target for completing internal reviews is 20 working days
and we therefore aim to complete the review and respond to you by 1 July
2019.  While we are working hard to achieve this, in the interests of
providing you with a more realistic indication of when you should expect a
response, we should advise that the majority are currently taking between
20 and 40 working days to complete.  The internal review that will involve
a full, independent reconsideration of the handling of the RFI as well as
the final decision.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

 

DIO Sec-Parli (MULTIUSER), Defence Infrastructure Organisation

1 Attachment

Good Afternoon

 

Please find attached FOI response.

 

Yours sincerely

 

DIO Secretariat

CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER), Defence Infrastructure Organisation

Dear Mr Foster,

 

We are sorry that we have been unable to complete a review of this case,
as promised.   It would greatly assist us if you would kindly clarify the
meaning of your original request as to the format you would like the
information provided in, as this is proving a stumbling block.  When you
say:

 

"Could you please provide me [with] a copy of the following information in
a GIS compatible format (such as Arcgis compatible shape file or Google
Earth compatible.kml/.kmz) so far as is compatible with the needs of
national security." 

 

Do you mean that you require information in an electronic format capable
of further manipulation by yourself and not fixed copy files?   We
understand the scope of your request is for mapping of the entire UK MOD
estate with various details included on it, as specified.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

Dear CIO-FOI-IR (MULTIUSER) / MOD Information Rights Compliance Team

I have no particular need for the ability to manipulate/change the boundaries, but I do have a need for the information to upload to an industry standard GIS database such as QGIS, Arcgis or (preferable for simplicity) Google Earth.

As previously discussed, I am more than happy for any necessary retractions in the means of national security. But I suggest that, as a general rule, this is unlikely to be necessary with the type of ‘public estate’ data I am requesting regards access, particularly given many of these boundaries are already marked with MOD safety signage.

Yours sincerely,

kieran foster