Security screening for staff employed by Xafinity Paymaster

J Alexander made this Freedom of Information request to Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Metropolitan Police Service (MPS),

I understand that Xafinity Paymaster is the current supplier to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of pension administration services, administering the Police Pension Scheme for both police and civilian employees of the MPS.

1. Please identify the minimum type and/or level of security clearance required by employees of Xafinity Paymaster working on the MPS contract. Please provide a brief explanation of this type and/or level of security clearance if it is not immediately obvious to a lay person.

2. Please provide an electronic copy of the contract MPS has made with Xafinity Paymaster for the outsourcing of pension administration services ("the contract"); or, at the very least, the relevant part of the agreement that relates to the security vetting of employees hired by Xafinity Paymaster to work on the Police Pension Scheme contract.

3. I understand that current MPS residency requirements state that all applicants for vetting status are to have resided in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), for the last three years. Please name the relevant legislation (including the section number) that prescribes these requirements. If the requirements are not prescribed by legislation, please provide electronic copies of the relevant policy or guideline documents.

4. I understand from the MPS's response in 2008 to an earlier FOI request (please refer to http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...) that the MPS had the following standard contract term in agreements with suppliers: " The Supplier undertakes to comply with and to ensure that all its employees, agents, representatives and sub-contractors ("Personnel") comply with all relevant legislation, regulations, codes of practice, guidance notes and other requirements of any relevant government or governmental agency, safety and security standards and site procedures and codes of the MPA; any reasonable instructions and guidelines issued by the MPA from time to time; and the MPA's requirements in relation to security and background checks". Please confirm if if this contract term is still considered standard.

5. Please confirm if the above term (or similar) is included in the contract with Xafinity Paymaster. If the term differs in wording, please provide the wording of the term specific to the Xafinity Paymaster contract.

6. Please confirm whether or not MPS expects suppliers (such as Xafinity Paymaster) to check any eligibility requirements (especially, but not limited to, residency requirements) of potential new employees as part of the recruitment process.

7. Please provide electronic copies of any reasonable instructions and guidelines relating to the security vetting of employees issued to Xafinity Paymaster in the past 3 years.

8. Please provide copies of any communications made or made available to Xafinity Paymaster relating to MPA's requirements in relation to security and background checks [of employees] in the past 3 years.

Yours faithfully,

J Alexander

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear J Alexander

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011010001114
I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 09/01/2011. I note you seek
access to the following information:

"I understand that Xafinity Paymaster is the current supplier to the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of pension administration services,
administering the Police Pension Scheme for both police and civilian
employees of the MPS.

1. Please identify the minimum type and/or level of security clearance
required by employees of Xafinity Paymaster working on the MPS
contract. Please provide a brief explanation of this type and/or level of
security clearance if it is not immediately obvious to a lay person.
2. Please provide an electronic copy of the contract MPS has made with
Xafinity Paymaster for the outsourcing of pension administration
services ("the contract"); or, at the very least, the relevant part of the
agreement that relates to the security vetting of employees hired by
Xafinity Paymaster to work on the Police Pension Scheme contract.
3. I understand that current MPS residency requirements state that all
applicants for vetting status are to have resided in the United Kingdom
(England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), for the last three years.
Please name the relevant legislation (including the section number) that
prescribes these requirements. If the requirements are not prescribed by
legislation, please provide electronic copies of the relevant policy or
guideline documents.
4. I understand from the MPS's response in 2008 to an earlier FOI request
(please refer to
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...)
that the MPS had the following standard contract term in agreements with
suppliers: " The Supplier undertakes to comply with and to ensure that all
its employees, agents, representatives and sub-contractors ("Personnel")
comply with all relevant legislation, regulations, codes of practice,
guidance notes and other requirements of any relevant government or
governmental agency,safety and security standards and site procedures and
codes of the MPA; any reasonable instructions and guidelines issued by the
MPA from time to time; and the MPA's requirements in relation to security
and background checks". Please confirm if this contract term is still
considered standard.
5. Please confirm if the above term (or similar) is included in the
contract with Xafinity Paymaster. If the term differs in wording,
please provide the wording of the term specific to the Xafinity Paymaster
contract.
6. Please confirm whether or not MPS expects suppliers (such as Xafinity
Paymaster) to check any eligibility requirements (especially, but not
limited to, residency requirements) of potential new employees as part of
the recruitment process.
7. Please provide electronic copies of any reasonable instructions and
guidelines relating to the security vetting of employees issued to
Xafinity Paymaster in the past 3 years.
8. Please provide copies of any communications made or made available to
Xafinity Paymaster relating to MPA's requirements in relation to security
and background checks [of employees] in the past 3 years. "

Your request will now be considered in accordance with the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (the Act). You will receive a response within the
statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Act, subject to
the information not being exempt or containing a reference to a third
party. In some circumstances the MPS may be unable to achieve this
deadline. If this is likely you will be informed and given a revised
time-scale at the earliest opportunity.

Some requests may also require either full or partial transference to
another public authority in order to answer your query in the fullest
possible way. Again, you will be informed if this is the case.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Your attention is drawn to the attached sheet, which details your right of
complaint.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Peter Deja on telephone number 0207 161 3640 quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Peter Deja
Policy and support officer
COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The MPS has a
strict staff conduct policy. Any email that causes you concern should be
reported via the Contacts section on the official MPS Website at
[1]www.met.police.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.met.police.uk/

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear J Alexander

Thank you for your Freedom of Information request dated 10 January. Your
query is being dealt with and our response is currently being reviewed by
our Senior Management Team.

I appreciate we will therefore be late in delivering the response to you
but we hope to do so by the end of next week. Please accept my apologies
for any inconvenience this causes you.

Best wishes,

Becca Oram - Business Mgt Officer (Information)
Resources Programme Office - Directorate of Resources - Metropolitan
Police Service
MetPhone 67474 Telephone 020 7230 7474 | Fax 020 7230 3183
Address Room 920, New Scotland Yard, Broadway,
London, SW1H 0BG

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS). The MPS has a
strict staff conduct policy. Any email that causes you concern should be
reported via the Contacts section on the official MPS Website at
[1]www.met.police.uk

References

Visible links
1. http://www.met.police.uk/

Dear Sir or madam,

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

I am writing to request an internal review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of my FOI request 'Security screening for staff employed by Xafinity Paymaster'.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 states that "a public authority must comply with [an FOI request] promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt".

The information requested by me was due to be provided no later than 4 February 2011 and, as it was not provided by this date, the Metropolitan Police Service is breaking the law.

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

Yours faithfully,

J Alexander

Dear Becca,

I called to speak to you today at about 4.15pm but was advised by a colleague that you had left the office for the day.

I also spoke to Peter Deja who re-confirmed that you had been working on my request and were seeking approval from Senior Management as per your previous e-mail.

It's clear now that I won't receive a response to my request by the end of this week as you had indicated that you 'hoped' I would last week.

Please reply to me by e-mail at the earliest available opportunity to provide me with an update on the progress of my request and the progress of the internal review I requested a week ago. Peter also said he would contact you to request this.

The MPS internal procedures are not an excuse for the MPS to respond to my request after the statutory time limit. If the information must undergo an approval process then it should have submitted sooner and/or the approval process should be completed more quickly.

It would have been helpful also, if some of the information could have been approved more quickly than other information, if that information could have been provided sooner rather than waiting for all of the information to be approved.

I am especially concerned that as yet I have received no acknowledgement of my request for an internal review.

The MPS was required by law to respond to FOI request a week ago.

If I do not receive a satisfactory response to the entirety of my FOI request, as well as an acknowledgement of my request for an internal review, by Monday 14 February, I will make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office on that day.

Regards

J Alexander

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Alexander

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011020001039

I write in connection with your letter dated 5 February 2011 requesting
that the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) review its response to your
request for information relating to:

* Original FOI case number 2011020001039

The review will be conducted in accordance to the MPS's complaints
procedure. The MPS endeavour to respond to your complaint by 7 March 2011.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Thank you for your interest in the MPS.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Alexander,

Thank you for your email dated 11 February sent to my colleague Becca
Oram.

We apologise for the delay in responding to you. Your FOIA request is in
the final stage of our internal FOIA approvals process and a response will
be with you as soon as approval is granted.

The MPS Public Access Office deal with FOIA internal reviews and it is
with that department that you should progress your request for an internal
review. I note you have been in contact with Peter Deja and ask that you
direct your internal review enquiries to him.

Regards

Sent on behalf of Becca Oram

Gladys Shuckard Rowe
Business Management Officer - Resources Programme Office - Directorate of
Resources - Metropolitan Police Service
MetPhone 63147 | Telephone 020 7230 3147 | Fax 020 7230 3183
Room 920, New Scotland Yard, Broadway, London SW1H 0BG

P Consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Alexander

In Regard the below email from Glady Shuckard Rowe , she is slightly
mistaken in that I do not deal with internal reviews and Mrs Strong in the
Public Access Office will be dealing with your internal review. I believe
you have received a acknowledgement letter from her.

Email From Gladys Shuckard Rowe Below:

Dear Mr Alexander,

Thank you for your email dated 11 February sent to my colleague Becca
Oram.

We apologise for the delay in responding to you. Your FOIA request is in
the final stage of our internal FOIA approvals process and a response will
be with you as soon as approval is granted.

The MPS Public Access Office deal with FOIA internal reviews and it is
with that department that you should progress your request for an internal
review. I note you have been in contact with Peter Deja and ask that you
direct your internal review enquiries to him.

Regards

Sent on behalf of Becca Oram

Kind regards

Peter Deja
Policy and Support Officer
Public Access Office
London SW6 1SF

Tel: 0207 161 3640
Fax:0207 161 3503
Email: [email address]

Protective Marking:
Not / Suitable for Publication:

Recipients of this email should be aware that all communications within
and to and from the Metropolitan Police Service are subject to
consideration for release under the Data Protection Act, Freedom of
Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. The MPS will
consider information for release unless there is are valid and
proportionate public interest reasons not to, therefore, sensitive
information not for public disclosure must be highlighted as such. Further
advice can be obtained from the Public Access Office - 783500.

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

3 Attachments

Dear J Alexander,

Freedom of Information Act Request Reference No: 2011010001114

I write in connection with your request for information which was received
by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) on 10 January 2011. I apologise
for the delay in our response. I note you seek access to the following
information

I understand that Xafinity Paymaster is the current supplier to the
Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) of pension administration services,
administering the Police Pension Scheme for both police and civilian
employees of the MPS.
1. Please identify the minimum type and /or level of security clearance
required by employees of Xafinity Paymaster working on the MPS contract.
Please provide a brief explanation of this type and/or level of security
clearance if it is not immediately obvious to a lay person.

2. Please provide an electronic copy of the contract MPS has made with
Xafinity Paymaster for the outsourcing of pension administration services
("the contract "); or, at the very least, the relevant part of the
agreement that relates to the security vetting of employees hired by
Xafinity Paymaster to work on the Police Pension Scheme contract.

3. I understand that current MPS residency requirements state that all
applicants for vetting status are to have resided in the United Kingdom
(England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), for the last three years.
Please name the relevant legislation (including the section number) that
prescribes these requirements. If the requirements are not prescribed by
legislation, please provide electronic copies of the relevant policy or
guideline documents.

4. I understand from the MPS's response in 2008 to an earlier FOI request
(please refer to
http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/co...)
that the MPS had the following standard contract term in agreement s
with suppliers : "The Supplier undertakes to comply with and to ensure
that all its employees, agents, representatives and sub-contractors
("Personnel") comply with all relevant legislation, regulations, codes of
practice, guidance notes and other requirements of any relevant government
or governmental agency, safety and security standards and site procedures
and codes of the MPA; any reasonable instructions and guidelines issued by
the MPA from time to time ; and the MPA's requirements in relation to
security and background checks" . Please confirm if if this contract term
is still considered standard.

5. Please confirm if the above term (or similar) is included in the
contract with Xafinity Paymaster. If the term differs in wording, please
provide the wording of the term specific to the Xafinity Paymaster
contract.

6. Please confirm whether or not MPS expects suppliers (such as Xafinity
Paymaster) to check any eligibility requirements (especially, but not
limited to , residency requirements) of potential new employees as part of
the recruitment process .

7. Please provide electronic copies of any reasonable instructions and
guidelines relating to the security vetting of employees issued to
Xafinity Paymaster in the past 3 years.

8. Please provide copies of any communications made or made available to
Xafinity Paymaster relating to MPA's requirements in relation to security
and background checks [of employees] in past 3 years.

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within the MPS
to locate information relevant to your request.

RESULT OF SEARCHES

The searches located a number of records relevant to your request.

Decision

Question 1.

The MPS has a contract with Logica for the administration of Pay and
Pensions, however Logica have appointed Xafinity Paymaster as a
sub-contractor to deliver the pensions element of the contract. The
contract has been effective from 1 April 2006.

Staff at Xafinity Paymaster are required to be vetted to a Counter
Terrorist Check (CTC) level before they can work on the MPS contract.

CTC is a level of clearance in the National Security Vetting System. An
Initial Vetting Clearance (IVC) is required before any form of national
security vetting clearance at any level can be granted.

CTC is required for any individual who requires unescorted access to
'designated' MPS premises, or access to sensitive MPS information, which
may be useful to a terrorist organisation, or has close proximity to an
individual who is assessed as a terrorist target.

Counter Terrorist Checks are renewed every 10 years for MPS staff and
three years for all non-MPS personnel.

Question 2.

With regard to your request for a copy of the contract I am afraid that I
am not required by statute to release the information requested. This
letter therefore serves as a Refusal Notice under Section 17 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) with regard to this information.

REASONS FOR DECISION

Section 17 of the Act provides:

(1) A public authority which, in relation to any request for
information, is to any extent relying on a claim that any provision in
part II relating to the duty to confirm or deny is relevant to the request
or on a claim that information is exempt information must, within the time
for complying with section 1(1), give the applicant a notice which-

(a) states the fact,
(b) specifies the exemption in question, and
(c) states (if that would not otherwise be apparent) why the exemption
applies.

In this case, our refusal to release this information is made under
section 43 of the list of appropriate legal exemptions. The information
you are seeking reflects information provided, in confidence, by
organisations as part of their response to a MPS commercial documentation
and process. The provision of such information would be to the commercial
detriment of the organisation providing it.

Section 43(2) of the Act provides:
(2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act
would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any
person (including the public authority holding it).

This exemption is relevant as much of the information contained within the
contract relates to commercially sensitive information, namely, the
financial value, prices, cost breakdown, resourcing, processes and
deliverables of the contract between the relevant suppliers and the MPS.
Under the Act, S43 (2) has been designated as a qualified and class-based
exemption. As a class-based exemption, the legislators have already
accepted the harm in the release of this class of information. As such,
there is no requirement for me to evidence the harm in disclosing this
information. However, as this exemption is also qualified, I am obliged to
apply the public interest test.

Public Interest Test

Public interest considerations favouring disclosure

Accountability and transparency
One of the underlying principles of the Act is the need to be open and
transparent. In this case, there is public interest in being aware of the
services that the MPS has committed to in its contracts with external
bodies.

Public interest considerations favouring non-disclosure

In considering the public interest in maintaining the exemption, I have
considered the potential prejudice that could be caused by disclosure.
This is focused on the interests of third parties and the willingness of
future parties to competitively bid for MPA contracts and being able to
hold the MPS accountable for the spend of public money.

Interests of third parties
The police service has a duty to protect the sensitive commercial
information it holds about any private company it has dealings with,
including those from which it procures goods and services. The award of
contracts within the MPS tends to be on the basis of the Most Economically
Advantageous Tender ("MEAT"). This assessment is based on the evaluation
of criteria which not only includes pricing of services but the services
which the supplier is prepared to contractually commit of the contract.
Negotiations relating to each contract are unique, dependant on specific
circumstances and the agreement of appropriate terms and conditions which,
in this instance, are considered to be sensitive and commercially
confidential. Disclosure of a partially redacted contract could therefore
prejudice the relationship between the MPS and its suppliers and the
commercial interests of the companies by placing into the public domain
information which could impact in a negative way on their ability to
negotiate with current or future clients. The contract agreed by the
successful bidding company contains details of their services which, if
disclosed, could provide their competitors with an unfair advantage.

Balancing Test
When balancing the public interest test, we have to consider whether the
public interest factors that favour maintaining the exemption (and
therefore not disclosing the information) outweigh those that favour
disclosing the information. This is set out in Section 2 (2) (b) of the
Act. In this case, the key factor favoring non-disclosure is the interests
if third parties, and this needs to be weighed against the key factor
favoring disclosure, which concerns transparency and accountability.
While it is accepted that accountability and demonstrating transparency in
the use of public funds is a strong factor favoring disclosure, in this
case the requested information concerns the potential disclosure of
information concerning a company's position with regard to bidding for
work such as the MPS's.
I have therefore determined that greater weight must be given to
protecting the commercial interests of the third parties and the MPS in
this instance.
Attached below is documentation used within the tendering process which

* Can be considered to be within the public domain
* Provides an overview of the services that we receive and the contracts
we have awarded
* Provides said information at a level of granularity which does not, we
believe, compromise any commercial, contractual or security
sensitivities that the MPS or our supplier may face

As a result I attach the relevant tender documentation used with regard to
this requirement.

Section 4.8.5 on Personnel Security in the above document entitled
Invitation to Tender, was replicated in the final contract with Logica.

Question 3

The requirements on residency are covered in the ACPO / ACPOS National
Vetting Policy for the Police Community. Please see the attached link:
http://www.acpo.police.uk/documents/work...

The aim of the MPS Vetting Unit is to ensure a consistent approach in line
with the ACPO vetting policy for the police community and National Police
Improvement Agency (NIPA) Circular 01/2010.

At present Standard Operation Procedure Number 3 Initial Vetting Clearance
(IVC) refers to the residency criteria (see attached). The MPS is
currently reviewing all our policies, however they will remain in
accordance with the above policy and guidelines.

Question 4

The contract term as quoted in Question 4 is still used as a standard
contract term by the MPS.

Question 5

As per 1, the MPS does not have a contract with Xafinity Paymaster.
However the terms and conditions regarding both the contractor and
sub-contractor and security build upon and reference the requirements
contained within the document above

Question 6

Logica and Xafinity Paymaster are not required to make any checks into
their employees' eligibility requirements on behalf of the MPS. They are
required to inform the MPS of any changes to personnel and the MPS carry
out the necessary checks.

Question 7

No additional instructions or guidance have been forwarded to Xafinity
Paymaster relating to security checks.

Question 8

No additional communications have been forwarded to Xafinity Paymaster
relating to security checks other than results of any security vetting.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights, which explains how to make a complaint.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your interest in
the MPS.

Should you have any further enquiries concerning this matter, please write
or contact Becca Oram on telephone number 0207 230 3174 quoting the
reference number above.

Yours sincerely

Becca Oram
Business Management Officer (Information)
Resources Programme Office

In complying with their statutory duty under sections 1 and 11 of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 to release the enclosed information, the
Metropolitan Police Service will not breach the Copyright, Designs and
Patents Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright owner of the
enclosed information will continue to be protected by law. Applications
for the copyright owner's written permission to reproduce any part of the
attached information should be addressed to MPS Directorate of Legal
Services, 1st Floor (Victoria Block), New Scotland Yard, Victoria, London,
SW1H 0BG.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again -

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 40 working days.

The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)

Dear Mr Alexander,

Freedom of Information Request Reference No: 2011020001039

Further to our letter of 14 February 2011, I am now able to provide a
response to your complaint dated 5 February 2011 concerning:

* Original FOI case number 2011010001114

DECISION

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has completed its review and has
decided that incorrect procedure was followed in reaching our original
decision.

REASON FOR DECISION

Your email of complaint dated 5 February 2011 requested an internal review
of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS)'s handling of your FOI request
regarding 'Security screening for staff employed by Xafinity Paymaster'.

You correctly stated that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 states "a
public authority must comply with [a FOI request] promptly and in any
event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of
receipt".

I calculate that as your request was received on 9 January 2011, your FOI
response was due on the 7 February 2011. I do apologise that in terms of
the processing of your request, the MPS failed to respond within the
statutory time frame of twenty working days.

I have discussed the delay of your case with the relevant case worker, who
assured me they would contact you to provide an update and an estimate of
when they would be likely to complete your case. From the case history I
can see that you were contacted with an update on 14 February 2011. You
were also initially provided with an update on 4 February 2011, which
apologised for the delay and explained that your response was being
reviewed by the Senior Management Team. However I do appreciate your
frustration in that a response was not sent to you by the date they had
initially envisaged.

To ensure good practice, on discussion of the delay to your case, I have
advised the department concerned that applicants should always be updated
in good time if there is a possibility that a FOIA deadline will not be
met for any reason, and informed them that regular progress updates should
be provided. I have also requested the relevant department ensure that all
consultation/ management approval processes are completed within the
statutory time frame, to ensure we meet our legislative obligations.

I hope to reassure you that the MPS take compliance with the Act very
seriously and are working hard to promote good practice in regard to the
processing of FOIA requests. The MPS is continually striving to ensure
statutory deadlines are met and enquiries are responded to as soon as
possible. We are working towards this goal whilst ensuring the operational
policing needs of London are not affected.

Your final response was sent to you on 16 February 2011. Should you be
dissatisfied with the outcome of the final response letter, please let me
know and I will be able to review that decision independently as a new
complaint. Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter,
please contact me quoting the reference number above.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused by our failure to process your
request correctly. The issues you have raised have been recorded and they
will enable us to provide a more efficient and effective service in the
future.

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

If you are dissatisfied with this response please read the attached paper
entitled Complaint Rights which explains how to contact the Information
Commissioner with your complaint.

Should you have any further inquiries concerning this matter, please
contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

S. Strong
FOIA Policy Research & Complaints Officer

COMPLAINT RIGHTS

Are you unhappy with how your request has been handled or do you think the
decision is incorrect?

You have the right to require the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) to
review their decision.

Prior to lodging a formal complaint you are welcome and encouraged to
discuss the decision with the case officer that dealt with your request.

Ask to have the decision looked at again ***

The quickest and easiest way to have the decision looked at again is to
telephone the case officer that is nominated at the end of your decision
letter.

That person will be able to discuss the decision, explain any issues and
assist with any problems.

Complaint

If you are dissatisfied with the handling procedures or the decision of
the MPS made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) regarding
access to information you can lodge a complaint with the MPS to have the
decision reviewed.

Complaints should be made in writing, within forty (40) working days from
the date of the refusal notice, and addressed to:

FOI Complaint
Public Access Office
PO Box 57192
London
SW6 1SF
[email address]

In all possible circumstances the MPS will aim to respond to your
complaint within 20 working days.
The Information Commissioner

After lodging a complaint with the MPS if you are still dissatisfied with
the decision you may make application to the Information Commissioner for
a decision on whether the request for information has been dealt with in
accordance with the requirements of the Act.

For information on how to make application to the Information Commissioner
please visit their website at www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk.
Alternatively, phone or write to:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Phone: 01625 545 700

The Metropolitan Police Service is here for London - on the streets and in
your community, working with you to make our city safer.

Consider our environment - please do not print this email unless
absolutely necessary.

NOTICE - This email and any attachments may be confidential, subject to
copyright and/or legal privilege and are intended solely for the use of
the intended recipient. If you have received this email in error, please
notify the sender and delete it from your system. To avoid incurring
legal liabilities, you must not distribute or copy the information in this
email without the permission of the sender. MPS communication systems are
monitored to the extent permitted by law. Consequently, any email and/or
attachments may be read by monitoring staff. Only specified personnel are
authorised to conclude any binding agreement on behalf of the MPS by
email. The MPS accepts no responsibility for unauthorised agreements
reached with other employees or agents. The security of this email and
any attachments cannot be guaranteed. Email messages are routinely scanned
but malicious software infection and corruption of content can still occur
during transmission over the Internet. Any views or opinions expressed in
this communication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
represent those of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).