20060 – Intranet use

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Ref: FOI/20060


I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested further to your freedom of information request.

Please find below a summary of our findings.


How many people are employed by your organisation, including full time and part time?


The number of people employed by Wes Midlands Fire Service is 1863


What is your current intranet solution? (Sharepoint, WordPress, Invotra, etc)


West Midlands Fire Services current intranet solution is Microsoft Sharepoint


How long have you been using this intranet solution?


This intranet solution has been in use 3 years


When is your intranet contract up for renewal?


The current contact MS Enterprise Agreement is due for renewal in April 2021


What is your annual intranet budget?


The intranet budget is part of the budget for the Enterprise Agreement for Office 365 Suite, this is approximately £220k for Office 365 Suite


Do you share an intranet/IT services with other organisations, if so who?


West Midlands Fire Service does not share intranet/IT services with other organisations


Which team and/or individual(s) are responsible for managing your intranet internally?


The team responsible for managing your intranet within West Midlands Fire service would be the Communications Team


Are you using the Office 365 suite? If so, which applications from the suite are in use?

Is your Active Directory hosted on-premise, or in the cloud?


As a major emergency service provider, you will appreciate that we must ensure that our systems are appropriately protected. Releasing detailed information about cyber-attacks upon our organisation in response to your request and other similar requests under Freedom of Information has wider implications that we must consider. By this we mean that disclosing this information may prejudice our ability to maintain our own and national security. We believe that maintaining security and ensuring public safety in a national and local context takes precedence over this request.

We accept that this type of information is of interest to commercial companies and to researchers but believe that it is not in the greater public good to release detailed information.

We do not imply that release of this information alone would necessarily be immediately detrimental, but taken with other information we consider that it could have an adverse effect on our capability, effectiveness and security. Given the current security climate in the UK we recognise the necessity to take a precautionary approach. In this situation we have also taken account of whether the release of this information, could, if put together with other available information, cause damage. After consideration we concluded that this type of information cannot be divorced from its context and looked at in isolation. In some circumstances, releasing this information could give rise to prejudice that would not otherwise have existed, because, taken together with other information requested, it could disclose a composite of information which is more sensitive than its individual parts taken separately.

We are therefore refusing your request under Freedom of Information exemptions, s24 National Security, s44 Prohibition on Disclosure.

In taking this decision we have taken note of the Centre for Protecting the National Infrastructure Guidance on disclosure of sensitive information, which states

“…. that national security is paramount and should be considered carefully in any government or commercial decision to release or disseminate information to the public”.

This guidance continues to state that careful consideration must be given before disclosing ‘precise information which exposes an organisation’s information or process control systems to the threat of electronic attack’.

Some of these exemptions are subject to the public interest test. This means that we must consider whether the public interest in releasing the information outweighs the public interest in refusing to disclose. We have considered that it is in the interest of the majority of the public to protect our systems from potential harm, in order to support us to ensure public safety. We have also decided that the likelihood of damage to our systems need not be immediate as the impact would, in an emergency situation, be potentially serious.

We also considered whether release of this information is in the public interest in terms of explaining our decisions, ensuring accountability, or providing transparency into our handling of public finances. We have concluded that the detail of this information is not necessary to meet the public interest or reassure public concerns. As a result, we have decided that the public interest is better served by not disclosing this detailed information.”


Which team and/or individual(s) are responsible for your intranet’s procurement within the organisation?


The team responsible for West Midlands Fire Services intranet’s procurement is the procurement team.


Could you provide us with a link to your Digital Workplace Strategy?


This information is exempt under section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as this information is reasonably accessible to the requestor. Information concerning our Digital and innovation strategy can be found on West Midlands Fire Service website at the following link:


If you have any queries about this Freedom of Information request, please contact us. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

For service complaints, issues or comments regarding this request please contact The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW

Further information concerning Freedom of Information requests can be found on the Information Commissioner website at either the following link: https://ico.org.uk/ or at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, SK9 5AF.

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