Telecoms & Networks Services – 16133

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Ref: FOI/16133

RE: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 REQUEST

I am writing to confirm that the West Midlands Fire Service has now completed its search for the information you requested on 24th October 2016.

Please find below a summary of our findings.

Request  

  1. Current Fixed Line (Voice Circuits) Provider- Supplier’s name, if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Reply

The current Fixed Line (Voice Circuits) Providers are British Telecom and Virgin Media.

Request 

  1. Fixed Line- 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. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

Reply

Fixed Line- Contract Renewal Dates are on rolling contracts with various renewal dates.

Request 

  1. Fixed Line- Contract Duration- the number of years the contract is for each supplier.

Reply

Fixed Line- Contract Duration are on a rolling contract.

Request 

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

Reply

The current type of lines are as follows

British Telecom – PSTN, ISDN

Virgin Media – PSTN, ISDN.

Request 

  1. Number of Lines- Please can you split the number of lines per each supplier? SIP trunks, PSN Lines, Analogue Lines.

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 several Freedom of Information exemptions, s24 National Security, s36 Effective conduct of public affairs, 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 (Fixed Voice not Mobiles) if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Reply

Minutes/Landline Providers are British Telecom and Virgin Media.

Request 

  1. 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.

Reply

The Minutes/Landline Contract Renewal Date are on a Rolling contract – various renewal dates.

Request

  1. Minutes Landline Monthly Spend- Monthly average spend. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Reply

The minutes Landline Monthly Spend is estimated at  – £4500.

Request 

  1. Minute’s Landlines Contract Duration: the number of years the contract is with the supplier.

 

Reply

Minute’s Landlines Contract Duration is a rolling contract – no fixed renewal date.

Request 

  1. Number of Extensions- Please state the number of telephone extensions the organisation currently has. An estimate or average is acceptable.

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 several Freedom of Information exemptions, s24 National Security, s36 Effective conduct of public affairs, 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 3

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

Reply

Fixed Broadband Provider is Exponential – E.

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

The fixed Broadband Renewal Date is Oct 2018.

Request

  1. Fixed Broadband Annual Average Spend- Annual average spend. An estimate or average is acceptable.

Reply

Fixed Broadband Annual Average Spend is approximately – £14500.

Request

  1. VOIP/PBX Installation Date of the organisation’s primary telephone system: – please provide day, month and year (month and year is also acceptable).

Reply

VOIP/PBX Installation Date of the organisation’s primary telephone system is August 2008.

Request

Contract 4

  1. WAN Provider- please provide me with the main supplier(s) if there is not information available please can you provide further insight into why?

Reply

The WAN Provider is Virgin Media.

Request

  1. WAN 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. If there is more than one supplier please split the renewal dates up into however many suppliers

Reply

The AN Contract Renewal Date is December 2016.

Request

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

Reply

After consideration WMFS has decided to withhold this information as this organisation believes this information is exempt under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Section 43 of the Act states:

“Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person.” WMFS believes that the information is of competitive value and is likely to prejudice the commercial interests of WMFS and also the Third Party.

Section 43 of the Act is subject to the public interest test; in this case WMFS considers that maintaining its bargaining position in future commercial negotiations outweighs the benefit in the release of this information.

Request

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

Reply

41 Sites.

Request

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

Reply

Estimated WAN Annual Average Spend is £160,000.

Request

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

Reply

There is a Procurement team within West Midlands Fire Service who are responsible for the renegotiation of these contracts.  Contact details procurement.enquires@wmfs.net

Request

Managed Service Contract

  •         Number of Extensions
  •         Type of Lines
  •         Number of Lines
  •         Minutes Landline Monthly Average Spend
  •         Fixed Broadband Average Annual Spend
  •         WAN Average Annual Spend
  •         Internal Contact: please can you send me there full contact details including contact number and email and job title.

If there is more than one supplier for each contract please can you separate the contract dates and spend for each supplier. Also if no information can be provided for each of the key data types please explain why there is no information.

Reply

All available information has been supplied for above questions.

If you have any queries about this email, please contact me.  Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications. If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision please write to The Public Relations Department, West Midlands Fire Service, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW.

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