Publish new boundary shapefiles for England

Sym Roe made this Freedom of Information request to Ordnance Survey Limited

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 Ordnance Survey Limited.

Dear Ordnance Survey Limited,

In the last year, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has created new boundaries for the following authorities:

Cambridgeshire
City of Birmingham
Devon
East Cambridgeshire
East Sussex
Eastbourne
Eastleigh
Hampshire
Hastings
Hertfordshire
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lewes
Lincolnshire
London Borough of Southwark
Rother
Warwickshire
Wealden
West Sussex

However, they have not published the shapefiles for these new boundaries, citing OS licensing as a reason for this. These boundaries will be included in Boundry-Line in the near future, along with OS and ONS/GSS issued Identifiers for the new shapes.

I would like the following:

1. The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in Boundary-Line
2. The Shapefiles for the new areas
3. A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The Local Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting that they are not allowed to publish the data they have created. (i.e., that it is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish')

Yours faithfully,

Sym Roe

Sym Roe left an annotation ()

Fun and games all over again! This the 2nd installment in a new yearly tradition: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p....

After making that request, OS published the data and then rejected the request on the bases that is was already published. This requests attempts to do the same thing.

FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Sym Roe

FOI17738 – Request for information
Thank you for your e-mail of .
As your request was received by Ordnance Survey on 19/01/2017 we will provide you with a response within 20 working days, as required by the Freedom of Information Act, therefore by 16/02/2017.
In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary for Ordnance Survey to extend this date to consider a complex public interest argument if engaging a qualified exemption. In such cases we will notify you of the revised date by which we would expect to provide a response.
Should you need to contact Ordnance Survey regarding your request at any time, please quote the allocated reference number in your correspondence.
Thank you for your enquiry.

Kind Regards

Freedom of Information

[cid:image003.png@01D04457.077E36E0]

L1F4, Explorer House, Adanac Drive, SOUTHAMPTON, SO16 0AS
Phone: 03456 050505
www.os.uk<http://www.os.uk/> [email address]<mailto:[email address]>

This email is only intended for the person to whom it is addressed and may contain confidential information. If you have received this email in error, please notify the sender and delete this email which must not be copied, distributed or disclosed to any other person.

Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this email are personal to the writer and do not represent the official view of Ordnance Survey. Nor can any contract be formed on Ordnance Survey's behalf via email. We reserve the right to monitor emails and attachments without prior notice.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
http://www.os.uk

FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Roe,

 

FOI17738 – Request For Information

 

Thank you for your e-mail of 19^th January 2017, requesting the following
information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA):

 

In the last year, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has
created new boundaries for the following authorities:

 

Cambridgeshire

City of Birmingham

Devon

East Cambridgeshire

East Sussex

Eastbourne

Eastleigh

Hampshire

Hastings

Hertfordshire

Kent

Lancashire

Leicestershire

Lewes

Lincolnshire

London Borough of Southwark

Rother

Warwickshire

Wealden

West Sussex

 

However, they have not published the shapefiles for these new boundaries,
citing OS licensing as a reason for this. These boundaries will be
included in Boundary-Line in the near future, along with OS and ONS/GSS
issued Identifiers for the new shapes.

 

I would like the following:

 

1. The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in Boundary-Line

2. The Shapefiles for the new areas

3. A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The Local
Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting that
they are not allowed to publish the data they have created. (i.e., that it
is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish')

 

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you
have requested. Where the information is not held or is exempt from
disclosure, this is detailed below.

 

 

1.            The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in
Boundary-Line

 

I assume that you are referring to the OS IDs for each area. This
information is not held. Under our duty to provide advice and assistance
as stipulated in Section 16 of the FOIA, I can inform you that this
information is not held because the new IDs for the new boundaries that
you have identified will only be created shortly before publication of the
updates to the OS Opendata Boundary-Line product. An update to this
product is scheduled to be published in May 2017.

 

Once published, the new IDs will be available in the excel spreadsheet
available under Useful Downloads for the OS Opendata Boundary-Line product
via this link:
https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendat....

 

2.            The Shapefiles for the new areas

 

I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold this information. However we
consider that the exemption in section 22 (information intended for future
publication) of the FOIA applies to the information that you have
requested. This is because the information is intended for publication at
a future date.

 

Ordnance Survey intends to publish new boundary line shapefiles in May
2017 as part of the scheduled update to the OS OpenData Boundary-Line
product.

 

Section 22 is a qualified exemption and therefore Ordnance Survey has to
assess whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs
the public interest in disclosing the information ahead of planned
schedule. We recognise that there is a public interest in making the
shapefiles showing the geographical extent of the new boundaries available
prior to the scheduled publication, in respect of promoting public
understanding and involvement in the democratic process with regard to the
new boundary lines. However, this information is scheduled to be released
in accordance with the scheduled update cycle of the OS OpenData
Boundary-Line product. Information about the new boundaries is already
available in the public domain, as described below. For quality assurance
purposes, there is a public interest in ensuring that the new boundary
information is made available in accordance with the existing production
and publication cycle in place for the OS Boundary-Line product. 

 

In this case, we are satisfied that there is greater public interest in
withholding this information under this exemption.

 

Please note that the shapefiles for the new boundaries requested will be
published as a free download as part of the updates to OS OpenData
Boundary-Line product in May 2017 on this portal:
[1]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendat....

 

We can also advise that information as to the new boundaries for the areas
that you have identified is currently available via the Local Government
Boundary Commission for England website at the following link:
https://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews; and applicable statutory
instruments can be found on the following government website:
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi.

 

Further information about boundary information in general is available on
the Ordnance Survey website via the following link:
[2]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/busines....

 

Lastly, please note that the FOIA gives you a right to request
information, rather than a particular form of information (subject to
certain exceptions, which are not relevant in this case).  In this case,
we consider that the information which you seek is already reasonably
accessible, although not in shapefile format, by other means (as noted
above).  This means that the information is potentially exempt under
section 21 of the FOIA, although we are not relying on this exemption in
this response. 

 

3.            A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The
Local Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting
that they are not allowed to publish the data they have created (i.e.,
that it is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish').

 

In relation to the third part of your request, under our duty to provide
information and assistance under Section 16 of the FOIA, we refer you to
our email of 8 March 2016 in response to the same request from you under
reference FOI16653. Relevant excerpts from our previous response are set
out below. I can confirm that the position has not changed since your
previous request.

 

“Having reviewed the request for a statement, Ordnance Survey is unable to
comply as in this instance you ask us to create a statement for a specific
case. The Freedom of Information Act is to make provision for the
disclosure of information which is held in a recorded format by an
organisation and not as a mechanism to provide a response to specific
questions – unless that information is already held by the authority in a
recorded format.”

 

We therefore consider that the third part of your request does not
constitute a valid request under Section 8 FOIA.

 

The full response is found at:
[3]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

 

Internal Review

 

Your enquiry has been processed according to the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) 2000. If you are unhappy with our response, you may request an
internal review with our FOI Internal Review Officer, by contacting them
as follows:

 

FOI Internal Review Officer

Customer Service Centre

Ordnance Survey

Adanac Drive

Southampton

SO16 0AS

E-mail: [4][email address]

 

Please include the reference number above. You may request an internal
review where you believe Ordnance Survey has:

•             Failed to respond to your request within the time limits
(normally 20 working days)

•             Failed to tell you whether or not we hold the information

•             Failed to provide the information you have requested

•             Failed to explain the reasons for refusing a request

•             Failed to correctly apply an exemption or exception

 

The FOI Internal Review Officer will not have been involved in the
original decision. They will conduct an independent internal review and
will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20 working
days, but exceptionally within 40 working days, in line with the
Information Commissioner’s guidance.

 

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision,
provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release
further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

 

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

 

If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with
our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s
Office at:

 

The Case Reception Unit

Customer Service Team

The Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire 

SK9 5AF

 

E-mail: [5][email address]

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to
Friday.

 

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Freedom of Information

Ordnance Survey Limited

 

[6]cid:image003.png@01D04457.077E36E0

 

L1F4, Explorer House, Adanac Drive, SOUTHAMPTON, SO16 0AS

Phone: 03456 050505

[7]www.os.uk  [8][email address]

 

This email is only intended for the person to whom it is addressed and may
contain confidential information. If you have received this email in
error, please notify the sender and delete this email which must not be
copied, distributed or disclosed to any other person.

Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this email are personal to the
writer and do not represent the official view of Ordnance Survey. Nor can
any contract be formed on Ordnance Survey's behalf via email. We reserve
the right to monitor emails and attachments without prior notice.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[9]http://www.os.uk

References

Visible links
1. https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendat...
2. https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/busines...
3. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
4. mailto:[email address]
5. mailto:[email address]
7. http://www.os.uk/
8. mailto:[email address]
9. http://www.os.uk/

Dear Ordnance Survey Limited,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Ordnance Survey Limited's handling of my FOI request 'Publish new boundary shapefiles for England'.

I will address point 2 of the reply, specifically regarding the exemption in section 22 of the FOIA.

Section 22(c) of the FOIA states:

"it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a)"

I disagree that is it reasonable to withhold this data about elections until after the elections take place, and therefore think that you are not able to use exemption 22.

A comment regarding the data's existence: The Local Government Boundary Commission for England website does not contain the data I am asking for. It contains visual representations of the data as images plotted on a map and PDFs. This is information derived from the data I am requesting, and therefore it is not correct to say that the data is published already.

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

Yours faithfully,

Sym Roe

FOI, Ordnance Survey Limited

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Roe,

FOI17738 - Request for information

Thank you for your email of 17/02/17 requesting a formal review of the
decision made regarding FOI17738. As requested, I have forwarded this
matter to our FOI Internal Review Officer Mr Owain Hale-Heighway for his
attention.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will conduct an independent internal
review and will inform you of the outcome of the review normally within 20
working days (17/03/2017), but exceptionally within 40 working days, in
line with the Information Commissioner’s guidance, meaning by 14/04/17.

The FOI Internal Review Officer will either: uphold the original decision,
provide an additional explanation of the exemption/s applied or release
further information, if it is considered appropriate to do so.

Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
If following the outcome of the internal review you still remain
dissatisfied with our response, you may raise an appeal with the
Information Commissioners Office at:

The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioners Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF

E-mail: [1][email address]

Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to
Friday.

Regards,

 

Freedom of Information

Ordnance Survey Limited

 

[2]cid:image003.png@01D04457.077E36E0

 

L1F4, Explorer House, Adanac Drive, SOUTHAMPTON, SO16 0AS

Phone: 03456 050505

[3]www.os.uk  [4][email address]

 

This email is only intended for the person to whom it is addressed and may
contain confidential information. If you have received this email in
error, please notify the sender and delete this email which must not be
copied, distributed or disclosed to any other person.

Unless stated otherwise, the contents of this email are personal to the
writer and do not represent the official view of Ordnance Survey. Nor can
any contract be formed on Ordnance Survey's behalf via email. We reserve
the right to monitor emails and attachments without prior notice.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Ordnance Survey Limited (Company Registration number 09121572)
Registered Office: Explorer House
Adanac Drive
Southampton SO16 0AS
Tel: 03456 050505
[5]http://www.os.uk

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.os.uk/
4. mailto:[email address]
5. http://www.os.uk/

Sym Roe left an annotation ()

We blogged about this here:

https://democracyclub.org.uk/blog/2017/0...

Ordnance Survey,

2 Attachments

[1]Ordnance Survey
Dear Sym Roe,

Thank you for contacting customer services at Ordnance Survey.

We value your feedback and would like to know your views about the service you received. We have asked Maru/edr, an independent research organisation, to gather our
customers' comments.

This simple survey will take no longer than 10 minutes of your time. To view the survey click on the link below:
[2]http://edigitalsurvey.com/survey/enter/c...

(If the link above is not clickable, or has wrapped onto two lines please copy and paste it in to the address bar of your web browser).

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards

Ordnance Survey
[3]Ordnance Survey
Your personal details will not be disclosed to any third party and are only being used for this research.

You have received this message because either you or someone else using this email address placed an order with Ordnance Survey.

If you do not wish to receive any further research emails from Maru/edr please [4]click here.

Maru/edr are industry leaders in online research who operate under Market Research Society and ESOMAR rules. For the Maru/edr privacy policy please click
here: [5]http://www.maruedr.com/privacy.

Maru/edr plc, The HUB, Berrywood Business Village, Tollbar Way, Hedge End, Hampshire, SO30 2UN. +44 (0) 1489 772920. Registered in England No. 5424597.

References

Visible links
2. http://edigitalsurvey.com/survey/enter/c...
4. https://public.maruedr.com/unsubscribe/m...
5. http://www.maruedr.com/privacy/

Owain Hale-Heighway, Ordnance Survey Limited

Dear Mr Roe,
 
FOI17738 - Request for information (Internal Review)
 
Thank you for your email dated 17^th February 2017 requesting an internal
review of Ordnance Survey’s response to your Freedom of Information
request FOI17738.
 
Ordnance Survey replied to your request FOI17738 on 16^th February 2017 as
follows:
 
FOI17738 – Request for Information
 
“Thank you for your e-mail of 19^th January 2017, requesting the following
information from Ordnance Survey in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA):
 
In the last year, The Local Government Boundary Commission for England has
created new boundaries for the following authorities:
 
Cambridgeshire
City of Birmingham
Devon
East Cambridgeshire
East Sussex
Eastbourne
Eastleigh
Hampshire
Hastings
Hertfordshire
Kent
Lancashire
Leicestershire
Lewes
Lincolnshire
London Borough of Southwark
Rother
Warwickshire
Wealden
West Sussex
 
However, they have not published the shapefiles for these new boundaries,
citing OS licensing as a reason for this. These boundaries will be
included in Boundary-Line in the near future, along with OS and ONS/GSS
issued Identifiers for the new shapes.
 
I would like the following:
 
1. The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in Boundary-Line
2. The Shapefiles for the new areas
3. A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The Local
Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting that
they are not allowed to publish the data they have created. (i.e., that it
is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish')
 
I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold some of the information you
have requested. Where the information is not held or is exempt from
disclosure, this is detailed below.
 
 
1. The new IDs for each area, as will be assigned in Boundary-Line
 
I assume that you are referring to the OS IDs for each area. This
information is not held. Under our duty to provide advice and assistance
as stipulated in Section 16 of the FOIA, I can inform you that this
information is not held because the new IDs for the new boundaries that
you have identified will only be created shortly before publication of the
updates to the OS Opendata Boundary-Line product. An update to this
product is scheduled to be published in May 2017.
 
Once published, the new IDs will be available in the excel spreadsheet
available under Useful Downloads for the OS Opendata Boundary-Line product
via this link:
[1]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendat....
 
2. The Shapefiles for the new areas
 
I can confirm that Ordnance Survey does hold this information. However we
consider that the exemption in section 22 (information intended for future
publication) of the FOIA applies to the information that you have
requested. This is because the information is intended for publication at
a future date.
 
Ordnance Survey intends to publish new boundary line shapefiles in May
2017 as part of the scheduled update to the OS OpenData Boundary-Line
product.
 
Section 22 is a qualified exemption and therefore Ordnance Survey has to
assess whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs
the public interest in disclosing the information ahead of planned
schedule. We recognise that there is a public interest in making the
shapefiles showing the geographical extent of the new boundaries available
prior to the scheduled publication, in respect of promoting public
understanding and involvement in the democratic process with regard to the
new boundary lines. However, this information is scheduled to be released
in accordance with the scheduled update cycle of the OS OpenData
Boundary-Line product. Information about the new boundaries is already
available in the public domain, as described below. For quality assurance
purposes, there is a public interest in ensuring that the new boundary
information is made available in accordance with the existing production
and publication cycle in place for the OS Boundary-Line product. 
 
In this case, we are satisfied that there is greater public interest in
withholding this information under this exemption.
 
Please note that the shapefiles for the new boundaries requested will be
published as a free download as part of the updates to OS OpenData
Boundary-Line product in May 2017 on this portal:
[2]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/opendat....
 
We can also advise that information as to the new boundaries for the areas
that you have identified is currently available via the Local Government
Boundary Commission for England website at the following link:
[3]https://www.lgbce.org.uk/current-reviews; and applicable statutory
instruments can be found on the following government website:
[4]http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi.
 
Further information about boundary information in general is available on
the Ordnance Survey website via the following link:
[5]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/busines....
 
Lastly, please note that the FOIA gives you a right to request
information, rather than a particular form of information (subject to
certain exceptions, which are not relevant in this case).  In this case,
we consider that the information which you seek is already reasonably
accessible, although not in shapefile format, by other means (as noted
above).  This means that the information is potentially exempt under
section 21 of the FOIA, although we are not relying on this exemption in
this response. 
 
3. A clear and easy to understand statement verifying that The Local
Government Boundary Commission for England is correct in asserting that
they are not allowed to publish the data they have created (i.e., that it
is not covered by 'Presumption to Publish').
 
In relation to the third part of your request, under our duty to provide
information and assistance under Section 16 of the FOIA, we refer you to
our email of 8 March 2016 in response to the same request from you under
reference FOI16653. Relevant excerpts from our previous response are set
out below. I can confirm that the position has not changed since your
previous request.
 
“Having reviewed the request for a statement, Ordnance Survey is unable to
comply as in this instance you ask us to create a statement for a specific
case. The Freedom of Information Act is to make provision for the
disclosure of information which is held in a recorded format by an
organisation and not as a mechanism to provide a response to specific
questions – unless that information is already held by the authority in a
recorded format.”
 
We therefore consider that the third part of your request does not
constitute a valid request under Section 8 FOIA.
 
The full response is found at:
[6]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
 
Internal Review Request (FOI17738)
 
On 17^th February 2017 you requested an internal review of Ordnance
Survey’s decision as follows:
 
“I am writing to request an internal review of Ordnance Survey Limited's
handling of my FOI request 'Publish new boundary shapefiles for England'.
 
I will address point 2 of the reply, specifically regarding the exemption
in section 22 of the FOIA.
 
Section 22(c) of the FOIA states:
 
"it is reasonable in all the circumstances that the information should be
withheld from disclosure until the date referred to in paragraph (a)"
 
I disagree that is it reasonable to withhold this data about elections
until after the elections take place, and therefore think that you are not
able to use exemption 22.
 
A comment regarding the data's existence: The Local Government Boundary
Commission for England website does not contain the data I am asking for.
It contains visual representations of the data as images plotted on a map
and PDFs. This is information derived from the data I am requesting, and
therefore it is not correct to say that the data is published already.
 
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on
the Internet at this address:
[7]https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...
 
Internal Review Response (FOI17738)
 
Further to your request for an internal review of our response, I have now
conducted this review and, taking each question in turn, have set out
below the outcome of this review:
 

 1. The decision in respect of this question is upheld as this information
was not held; the new IDs for the new boundaries identified will only
be created shortly before publication of the updates to the OS
OpenData Boundary-Line product, scheduled for May 2017.

 

 2. The decision to apply section 22 (information intended for future
publication) to the release of the information is upheld, as I
consider that the exemption was correctly invoked. I acknowledge that
the public interest argument was finely balanced but, at the time of
making the decision, the shapefiles had not gone through sufficient
quality assurance and, as such, there was a significant risk if they
had been released at that time they would have contained material
errors and thus caused confusion. 

 
Subsequently, however, colleagues within OS confirmed that we would
release future-dated boundaries as a polygon dataset in the week
commencing 13^th March 2017 under the Open Government Licence, to show
future changes to the boundaries before they become operative in May. 
This decision was referred to in our blog post at the following link:
[8]https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/blog/20...
 
This development provides support for the original decision made in
relation to section 22.  In addition, I hope that the release of this
dataset will provide you with the information that you desire.
 

 3. The decision in respect of this question is upheld and section 8
correctly invoked as this is not a valid request for information but
instead a request for the creation of a statement from Ordnance
Survey.

 
However, please note that the Ordnance Survey blog found at the above link
does address the issue made in your point 3.  The relevant paragraph from
the blog is as follows:
 
“Much of the data on which revised boundaries are based is created by
local authorities and the relevant Local Government Boundary Commission. 
These organisations are all members of one of our public sector mapping
agreements.  Where such organisations have created boundaries data using
OS licensed data, it is likely that they will be able to publish this
under the Open Government Licence, in accordance with OS’ “Presumption to
Publish” policy.  If any of these organisations are not clear as to
whether they can do this, they should contact OS for further advice.”
 
Appeal to Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
 
If, following the outcome of the internal review you remain unhappy with
our response, you may raise an appeal with the Information Commissioner’s
Office at:
 
The Case Reception Unit
Customer Service Team
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF
 
E-mail: [9][email address]
Telephone helpline: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 for advice, Monday to
Friday.
 
Thank you for your enquiry.
 
Yours sincerely,
 
Owain Hale-Heighway
 
Freedom of Information
Internal Review Officer
Ordnance Survey Limited
 
 

show quoted sections

Sym Roe left an annotation ()

I have referred this to the ICO for review, detailing what I see as two invalid reasons for rejecting this information:

* Section 22 ( I think that section 22(c) doesn't apply here)
* Quality is not a valid exemption under the FOIA.

I will blog and or update this page when I hear back from them.