21010 – Telecoms and Networks contracts

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FOI/21010

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information requested on 15th January 2021.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request

  1.      Current Lines/Voice Services (Analogue, ISDN VOIP, SIP etc) Provider- Please can you provide me with the name of the supplier for the contract.

Reply

As a major emergency service provider, you will appreciate that we must ensure that our systems are appropriately protected. Releasing detailed information about our IT systems and infrastructure 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.”

Request

  1.      Fixed Line- Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year are also acceptable). If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

Reply

Gamma – renewal due Nov 2023

British Telecom – No contract

Request

  1.      Fixed Line- Contract Duration- the number of years the contract is for each provider     n/a

Reply

n/a

Request

  1.      Type of Lines- Please can you split the type of lines per each supplier? PSTN, Analogue, SIP

Reply

As a major emergency service provider, you will appreciate that we must ensure that our systems are appropriately protected. Releasing detailed information about our IT systems and infrastructure 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.”

Request

  1.      Number of Lines- Please can you split the number of lines per each supplier?

Reply

As a major emergency service provider, you will appreciate that we must ensure that our systems are appropriately protected. Releasing detailed information about our IT systems and infrastructure 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.”

Request

Contract 2

  1.      Minutes/Landline Provider- Supplier’s name (NOT Mobiles) if there is no information available please can you provide further insight into why?
  2.      Minutes/Landline Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable). If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract.
  3.      Minutes Landline Monthly Spend- Monthly average spend on calls for each provider. An estimate or average is acceptable.
  4.      Minute’s Landlines Contract Duration: the number of years the contract is with the supplier.
  5.  Number of Extensions- Please state the number of telephone extensions the organisation currently has. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Reply

n/a

Request

Contract 3

  1. Fixed Broadband Provider- Supplier’s name if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Reply

We do not use broadband.

Request

  1. Fixed Broadband Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable). If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

Reply

n/a

Request

  1. Fixed Broadband Annual Average Spend- Annual average spend for each broadband provider. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Reply

n/a

Request

Contract 4

  1. WAN Provider- please provide me with the main supplier(s) if there is no information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Reply

Virgin Media

Request

  1.  WAN Contract Renewal Date- please provide day, month and year (month and year are also acceptable). If this is a rolling contract please provide me with the rolling date of the contract. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

Reply

June 2021

Request

  1. Contract Description: Please can you provide me with a brief description of the contract

Reply

mpls network

Request

  1. The number of sites: Please state the number of sites the WAN covers. Approx. will do.

Reply

41

Request

  1.  WAN Annual Average Spend- Annual average spend for each WAN provider. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Reply

£190,000

Request

  1. For each WAN contract can you please provide me with information on how this was procured, especially around those procurement that used frameworks, please provide me with the framework reference

Reply

–  Network services framework RM1045

Request

  1. Internal Contact: please can you send me there full contact details including contact number and email and job title for all the contracts above.

Reply

With regards for the contact details of internal contact, WMFS ICT Department operates a single point of contact policy and callers are directed to the ICT Service Desk via HQ general contacts on 0330 058 9000. The call will be directed to the ICT Service Desk and allocated to the ICT specialist with responsibility for the specific service. There is a direct email address for suppliers making sales enquires email: procurement.enquires@wmfs.net.

Furthermore, guidance from the Information Commissioner’s Office is as follows:

  • The presumption is in favour of protecting privacy, so the release of personal information will only be fair if there is a genuine reason to disclose. This involves a three-stage test. A public authority will generally have to satisfy itself that:
  • There is a legitimate interest in disclosure;
  • The legitimate interest can only be met, or fully met, by the disclosure of information which identifies individuals (i.e. the disclosure is necessary to that purpose); and, the disclosure would not involve unwarranted detriment to the individual’s privacy or other rights and legitimate interests.
  • You can find out more about FOI exemptions from the Information Commissioner’s Office. This will explain which one or more of the FOI exemptions applies, and tell you how to appeal if you disagree with our decision

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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