URN details and relationships for public sector bodies

William Olde made this Freedom of Information request to Buying Solutions

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 Buying Solutions.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information act:

1. A list of all organisations stored on Buying Solutions' systems, their Unique Reference Numbers (URNs) and their primary contact address.
2. For each URN, the category of the organisation (e.g. Central Government Department, Executive Agency, Trading Fund etc)
3. The relationships between the organisations stored on Buying Solutions' systems - for example The UK Border Agency and the Identity and Passport Service are both agencies of the Home Office. The information I am requesting is, in this example, the parent/child relationship between the Agencies and the Home Office, preferably expressed in terms of their respective URNs.
4. A data schema (or other list) of all information stored on Buying Solutions systems. Note that, with the exception of the information requested above, this is not a request for the actual information, simply a list of the types (fields) of information that are stored.

For the ease of response, I'd be happy to have items 1-3 sent under separate cover to item 4, or for any set of information sent through as soon as it is available.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Otherwise I'd appreciate a quick reply to my email as I cannot envisage this being more than a simple extract of data from your systems.

Yours faithfully,

William Olde

Dear Sir or Madam,

In my previous request, I asked for four types of information, including the following:

4. A data schema (or other list) of all information stored on
Buying Solutions systems. Note that, with the exception of the
information requested above, this is not a request for the actual
information, simply a list of the types (fields) of information
that are stored.

For clarity, the set of information I am requesting is *only* about relating to the data stored about public sector bodies entitled to use Buying Solutions frameworks. I am expecting a list of standard fields such as "Organisation Name", "URN", "Address" and so forth.

Apologies for the original request. As first phrased it seemed as if I was asking for information on all the data that Buying Solutions holds, which isn't the case!

Yours faithfully,

William Olde

Murray Nicola,

William,

Thank you for your email,

Your request has been forwarded to the customer database team who will
email you the requested information shortly.

Kind regards,

Nicola

Nicola Murray
Communications Assistant
Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,
Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2386
Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222
www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

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Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

please see attached.

Regards

June

June Martin

Customer Service Desk manager

Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,

Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2364

Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222

www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

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This email and any attachments are confidential. They may contain privileged information and are intended for the named addressee(s) only. They must not be distributed without our consent. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us by reply, or telephone our Customer Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 and then delete the e-mail.

Buying Solutions is not liable for any opinions expressed by the sender.

Any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this communication is strictly forbidden.

Buying Solutions information systems are monitored to ensure they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails may be examined, in exceptional circumstances, for the purpose of investigating or detecting any unauthorised use.

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Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

please see attached response.

Regards

June

June Martin

Customer Service Desk manager

Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,

Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2364

Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222

www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email

This email and any attachments are confidential. They may contain privileged information and are intended for the named addressee(s) only. They must not be distributed without our consent. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us by reply, or telephone our Customer Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 and then delete the e-mail.

Buying Solutions is not liable for any opinions expressed by the sender.

Any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this communication is strictly forbidden.

Buying Solutions information systems are monitored to ensure they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails may be examined, in exceptional circumstances, for the purpose of investigating or detecting any unauthorised use.

-....-

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by Government Secure
Intranet (GSi) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable &
Wireless in partnership with MessageLabs.
On leaving the GSI this email was certified virus free.

Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

please see attached response.

Regards

June

June Martin

Customer Service Desk manager

Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,

Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2364

Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222

www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email

This email and any attachments are confidential. They may contain privileged information and are intended for the named addressee(s) only. They must not be distributed without our consent. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us by reply, or telephone our Customer Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 and then delete the e-mail.

Buying Solutions is not liable for any opinions expressed by the sender.

Any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this communication is strictly forbidden.

Buying Solutions information systems are monitored to ensure they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails may be examined, in exceptional circumstances, for the purpose of investigating or detecting any unauthorised use.

-....-

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by Government Secure
Intranet (GSi) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable &
Wireless in partnership with MessageLabs.
On leaving the GSI this email was certified virus free.

Dear Ms Martin,

Thank you for your reply. I'm a little confused as to why my request should prejudice your commercial interests though - could you explain a little further, perhaps with the reasoning behind your decision and what commercial interests are being prejudiced?

Yours sincerely,

William Olde

Dear Buying Solutions,

On 29th November 2009 I contacted you to request details relating to the URN ("Unique Reference Number") codes held within your systems. This request was subsequently rejected by you via a message received from June Martin on the 9th December 2009.

The history of this request can be found here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/ur...

In her rejection letter, Ms Martin states that Buying Solutions does indeed hold the information I requested, however it would not be released as it "would likely to prejudice its [Buying Solutions] commercial interests" and had "considered the public interest test and is of the view that the potential harm in disclosing this information outweighs the public interest in favour of disclosure."

I wrote to Ms Martin on 9th December 2009 asking her to explain further. In particular I was confused about what public interests would be harmed by disclosure and what commercial interests would be prejudiced.

As I haven't heard back from Ms Martin, I would like to ask you to conduct an internal review. If possible please consider the following questions:

- The names of public sector bodies are readily available, however the Buying Solutions list / URNs are not. Why would disclosing these be an issue? If nothing else it would be helpful to have a list in one place! Why has the list not been released? What commercial interests would be prejudiced by this?
- The relationships between public sector bodies is, for the most part, in the public domain, or may be revealed on request. I find it difficult to imagine of a public body refusing an FOI request asking for there relationship with other public bodies! Instead of asking every public organization (which incidentally would be much easier if you released your list!) asking you would be much easier! As per the point above, what commercial interests would be prejudiced by this?
- Buying Solutions works for the public sector. As I understand it (and please correct me if i'm wrong here) Buying Solutions has no private sector competitors and works as a buying partner for public organisations. Could you kindly explain how the issue of commercial interests and prejudice arises? If this information was released do you think you would somehow lose money?
- If the decision stands could you release a statement giving more details on the commercial interests release would prejudice and the harm to the public?
- Is the information I have requested available to other public sector organisations? Or to the private sector? For a fee perhaps?

I didn't particularly want to request an internal review but I'm genuinely confused, and as Ms Martin hasn't yet got around to replying, a review will help me to understand. I do think though that dismissing my request outright was a little heavy-handed!

Yours faithfully,

William Olde

Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

Please see attached response.

Regards

June

June Martin
Customer Service Desk Manager
Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,
Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

DDI 0151 672 2364
Fax 0151 227 3315
Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222
www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

P Please consider the environment before printing this email

show quoted sections

Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

Please see attached response.

Regards

June

June Martin

Customer Service Desk manager

Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,

Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2364

Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222

www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email

This email and any attachments are confidential. They may contain privileged information and are intended for the named addressee(s) only. They must not be distributed without our consent. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us by reply, or telephone our Customer Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 and then delete the e-mail.

Buying Solutions is not liable for any opinions expressed by the sender.

Any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this communication is strictly forbidden.

Buying Solutions information systems are monitored to ensure they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails may be examined, in exceptional circumstances, for the purpose of investigating or detecting any unauthorised use.

-....-

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by Government Secure
Intranet (GSi) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable &
Wireless in partnership with MessageLabs.
On leaving the GSI this email was certified virus free.

Dear Martin June,

Any possibility of addressing my earlier question: "what public interests
would be harmed by disclosure and what commercial interests would
be prejudiced"?

Yours sincerely,

William Olde

Martin June,

1 Attachment

Mr Olde

please see attached response.

Regards

June

June Martin

Customer Service Desk manager

Buying Solutions, 3rd Floor, Royal Liver Building,

Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1PE

Direct dial 0151 672 2364

Customer Service Desk 0345 410 2222

www.buyingsolutions.gov.uk

Please consider the environment before printing this email

This email and any attachments are confidential. They may contain privileged information and are intended for the named addressee(s) only. They must not be distributed without our consent. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify us by reply, or telephone our Customer Service Desk on 0345 410 2222 and then delete the e-mail.

Buying Solutions is not liable for any opinions expressed by the sender.

Any unauthorised copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this communication is strictly forbidden.

Buying Solutions information systems are monitored to ensure they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails may be examined, in exceptional circumstances, for the purpose of investigating or detecting any unauthorised use.

-....-

The original of this email was scanned for viruses by Government Secure
Intranet (GSi) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Cable &
Wireless in partnership with MessageLabs.
On leaving the GSI this email was certified virus free.