8th June 2007

Version 2

 

Submission

to the

Communities and Local Government Committee

Review of the Recommendations

10th Report of Session 2001-02 (HC481)

 

Chris Corbin

 

 

I welcome the decision of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee to undertake a review on the impact of the recommendations made in the House of Commons Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee (Hoc TLR-C) - Ordnance Survey, Tenth Report of Session 2001-02 published on the 22nd June 2002 and the opportunity to submit evidence to the Committee.

 

Personal background to support submission

 

During 2002 as Chair of the Association for Geographic Information (AGI) I submitted supplementary evidence regarding a number of European Union (EU) Directives and initiatives to the Ordnance Survey Inquiry.[1] I am no longer a member of the AGI[2] and as such the views expressed in this submission do not represent those of the AGI.

 

I have been involved with public sector information and in particular geographic information for over 40 years and I am currently employed as an analyst in the European Union eContentplus funded project ePSIplus - Towards the 2008 review of the Directive on PSI re-use.[3] I have been employed in a number of other EU projects that relate to public sector information policy and geographic information. These projects have included:

 

GINIE: Geographic Information Network in Europe, duration 2001 to 2004[4]

MEPSIR: Measuring European Public Sector Information Resources, 2005 - 2006[5]

 

I have also been involved and provided evidence to:

 

ePSINet: Towards the implementation of the Directive on PSI re-use, 2002 to 2005[6]

SPREAD: Stimulate and promote good practice in the field of digital content in Eastern and Western Europe, 2004 to 2005.[7]

OECD Working Party on the Information Economy - PSI Information and Content 2006[8]&[9]

 


1 Summary

 

1.1 Legal frameworks brought in through EU legislation have complemented the HoC TLR-C Conclusions published in June 2002. One consequence of these legal frameworks has been the establishment in the UK of a new Regulator (OPSI) that has Memorandums of Understanding in place with two other regulators namely the OFT and the ICO which enables complaints to be moved between the Regulators. An appeal process has also been established via APPSI. Both the OPSI and the APPSI have received and processed complaints related to the OSGB. Further changes as a result of recent EU laws (INSPIRE) will be required which will have a direct bearing on the Committee's review.

 

1.2 The Governments response to the HoC TLR-C Conclusions was in some cases not in accordance with the legal frameworks and Guidelines that existed when the Government responded. Subsequent legal frameworks have not supported the conclusions the Government reached nor have the assessments reached by the Regulators especially those related to market competition.

 

1.3 A number of the HoC TLR-C conclusions have been enacted upon by the combination of the Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) and the OSGB. In implementing the HoC TLR-C conclusions the Department has not complied with the law related to the conduct of Public Sector bodies or the Guidelines related to the establishment of Advisory bodies. The Department has in some cases recently corrected their earlier actions and they now comply with the law (Reference the PGA2 procurement). As a consequence both the geographic information market in the UK and Government initiatives related to improving the efficiency of government through the exploitation of ICT have been affected and or set back.

 

1.4 The OFT has reported on their Market Study on The Commercial Use of Public Sector Information (CUPI) which has reported on potential competition infringements by the OSGB. The Government has failed to respond to the OFT CUPI report within the statutory timeframe, which is regrettable as this indicates that the Government and its supporting administration place themselves above the laws in force within the UK. Such delays have a direct impact on the geographic information market.

 

1.5 The European Commission Regulatory body related to ensuring the principles of the Single Market, public sector procurement, and subsidies are complied with has also processed complaints related to actions taken by the Department and the OSGB.

 

1.6 The number of questions related to the actions of the Department and the OSGB have continued to be asked in both the HoC and the HoL which is in itself an indicator that issues exist that have an impact on the geographic information market and other Government led initiatives.


1.7 Within Government and its administration there still exists genuine confusion regarding the role of the OSGB as to whether it is acting in the public good or acting commercially. This is an area that requires urgent attention as it has and continues to have a major impact on the geographic market here in the UK to the detriment of UK plc. As a consequence considerable resources are being diverted to non-productive activities both within the public sector and private sector to address the issues that arise. It is notable that other Countries in recent years have either separated out the public task and the commercial task into separate legal public sector entities or abandoned the principle of acting commercially with respect to public sector information.

 

1.8 Research and evidence is building that indicates that when ever a public procurement for geographic information complies with the EU law that results in an outcome that is not favourable to the OSGB (not all lots are awarded to the OSGB) that excessive delays occur for example the Local Government Mapping Service Agreement (MSA) and the PGA2. Delays have also occurred in other areas that involve the OSGB for example the time taken to reach agreement and publish the current OSGB Framework document

 

1.10 The Departments decision not to renew NIMSA but to let specific open competition contracts where necessary is correct.

 

1.11 Despite all of the developments outlined above there remain real issues with respect to the OSGB and its responsible Department that are damaging both the geographic information market and the public sector. As such the 5-year review by the Committee is timely.


2 Pertinent Legislative changes since June 2002

 

Re-use of PSI

 

2.1 The EU Directive 2003/98/EC[10] on the re-use of public sector information came into force within the EU on the 31st December 2003 and within EU Member States on the 1st July 2005. The UK transposition Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1515 The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 came into effect on the 1st July 2005. The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) was established during May 2005 and is in effect the Regulator appertaining to the re-use of Public Sector Information.


2.2 SI 2005 - 1515 established a formal complaints process within OPSI with an appeal process via the UK Advisory Panel for Public Sector Information (APPSI). Furthermore the OPSI established Memorandum of Agreement's with the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and as such established a unified interface for the processing of complaints.

 

2.3 The above combination of the framework legislation together with the complaints and appeals process met in outline HoC TLR-C Conclusions (a), (c), (e) and (f).

INSPIRE

 

2.4 The EU Directive 2007/2/EC on establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INPSIRE) came into force within the EU on the 15th May 2007 and is due to come into force within the UK by the 15th May 2009 at the latest.

 

2.5 The INSPIRE framework requires a national co-ordinating structure to be put into place and as such relates to HoC TLR-C Conclusion (g).

 

Public Sector Procurement

 

2.6 The EU Directive 2004/18/EC on the coordination of procedures for the award of public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts came into force within the EU on the 30th April 2004 and within EU Member States on the 31st January 2006. The UK enforcement body is the Office of Government Commerce (OGC)[11]. Directive 2004/18/EC replaced the EU procurement laws that were in effect within Member States when the HoC TLR Committee published its Conclusions in June 2002.

 

2.7 The Public Sector procurement Directive applies to HoC TLR-C Conclusions (d)

 

Financial Transparency

 

2.8 The EU Directive 2006/111/EC on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings as well as on financial transparency within certain undertakings came into force in all Member States on the 20th December 2006.

 

2.9 Directive 2006/111/EC is a codified version that consolidates Directive 80/723/EEC and the subsequent amendments into one updated document and as such repeals all previous versions. As preamble (1) states this has been done in the interests of clarity and rationality. Directive 80/723/EEC was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities on the 29th July 1980 and came into force into all Member States on the 31st December 1981. As such the Public Procurement laws were in force when the HoC TLR-C published its Conclusions in June 2002. Within the UK the Department of Trade and Industry has responsibility for implementing the Directive[12].

 

2.10 The Financial Transparency law applies to HoC TLR-C Conclusions (c).

 

 

 

EU Treaty Article 82

 

2.11 EU Treaty Article 82[13] trading organisations in a dominant position may not abuse that position. Article 82 has been in force since 1957 and was in force when the HoC TLR-C published its Conclusions in June 2002. The enforcement body (Regulator) within the UK is the Office of Fair Trading (OFT).

 

2.12 The above raises a number of points that the committee may wish to consider and note.

 

1. Guidelines and Processes that existed at the time the HoC TLR-C published its report in June 2002 complement the legal frameworks outlined above in the EU & UK. Over the past five years a number of these guidelines (good practices) have been reviewed via open consultation by the Government and improved or adapted to current conditions. In particular the processes related to HoC TLR-C Conclusions (c), (d) and (g). The Guidelines are published and available on the Cabinet Office web site. These Guidelines have been developed through practical experience as well as open and democratic processes using public funds and the taxpayer would rightly expect Departments and Executive Agencies to abide by these Guidelines. For example the process of establishing the Geographic Information Panel (GIP) was not in accordance with the Cabinet Office Guidelines on public appointments. It is not at all clear why the Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) did not follow the set down processes and guidance. It is interesting to note over the same period that Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) now known as the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) established the Advisory Panel for Public Sector Information (APPSI) in accordance with the Cabinet Office procedures and as such the APPSI has a level of credibility that the GIP has not managed to achieve due in part to the process of establishment, appointment and maintenance that is the rotation of appointed members and the publication of the financial accounts (financial transparency). Both panels report to Ministers and both panels have an advisory role.

 

2. The legal frameworks that now exist on the statute book endorse a number of the Conclusions reached by the HoC TLR-C in particular Conclusions (a), (c), (e), (f) and (g). The Governments response[14] to the HoC TLR-C Conclusion (c ) is not in alignment with the legal frameworks.

 

3. A number of the legal frameworks existed at the time the HoC TLR-C published its report in June 2002 and as such the HoC TLR-C report was indirectly indicating (as the report made no direct reference to the existing EU and UK laws) that the combination of the Department of State (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) and the Executive Agency (Ordnance Survey of Great Britain (OSGB)) that the Department has responsibility were not being complied with in particular Conclusion (c).

 

4. The above brief summary would suggest that rather than generate yet further legal frameworks and guidance there is an urgent need for compliance to be enforced with respect to the existing laws and frameworks combined with a more rigorous scrutiny both by Parliament and bodies such as the National Audit Authorities.

 

 

 

3 Pan-Government Agreement - (Conclusion d)

 

3.1 The Pan-Government agreement was established but the process did not comply with the EU Procurement law in that it was not open to competition. The basis for not complying with the EU Directive was that both the Department of State concerned - the procurer (DTLR then ODPM) and the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain - the supplier, are public bodies under the Crown (confirmed by the fact that Crown Copyright applies in both cases). As such these two bodies are exempt from the EU Public Procurement Directive as they are part of the same family of public bodies.

 

3.2 However the pan government agreement supplied a substantial number of other public bodies that were not under the Crown for example the Environment Agency. It is the latter aspect that resulted in non compliance with the EU Public Procurement Directive.[15]

 

3.3 The European Commission (EC) Internal Market and Services Directorate's Public Procurement Policy enforcement Unit received a complaint in July 2003 and the decision reference number 2003/4786 upheld the complaint that the Pan Government Agreement did fall within the remit of the EU Public Procurement Directive due to the wide range of public bodies and their sub contractors being beneficiaries under the Pan Government Agreement. The details and the decision related to Complaint 2003/4786 - Ordnance Survey - Pan Government Agreement - Public Procurement are available from the EC Enforcement Unit in Brussels.


3.4 As a result of the EC intervention the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (OPDM) placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European on the 25th August 2005. The process that was initiated by the notice resulted in only two lots being met both of which are provided by the private sector data providers. The procurement is still in process.

 

3.5 The above raises a number of points that the committee may wish to consider and note.

 

1. It is assumed that the HoC TLR-C in publishing Conclusion (d) in June 2002 was not implying that the DTLR did not need to comply with the EU and UK Public Procurement laws, procedures and good paractice.

 

2. The pan Government agreement did not cover the procurement of Aerial Photography due to the complaints and Court Injunction between Get Mapping plc - Ordnance Survey of Great Britain. (Conclusion (f)). It was apparent that there were at least three private sector companies able to provide aerial imagery.

 

3. The pan Government agreement[16] although entered into for a fixed period is still running in that it has been extended more than once by the OPDM and its successor DCLG. As the procurement did not comply with the EU Public Procurement law this in effect means that the geographic information market has been impacted (distorted).

 

4. The second pan Government agreement (PGA2) that did abide by the EU Public Procurement laws (even though at the current time it has not been concluded) has demonstrated that other suppliers do exist within the geographic information market both within the public and private sectors and that given the opportunity to bid that they do so. Thus value for Money can be demonstrated but only if open competition exists.

 

5. The second pan Government agreement (PGA2) includes a lot for Address data that maybe sourced from at least two public sector bodies or their agents. The first from Local Government via Intelligent Addressing for the National Land and Property Gazetteer. The second from OSGB for MasterMap Address Layer 2[17]. Both of these come under the DCLG and are also the subject of a complaint under the PSI Regulations[18] and the OPSI Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS)[19]. The OFT Market Study report The Commercial Use of Public Information (CUPI) also refers and raises potential competition issues. The Intelligent Addressing complaint remains open even though it was upheld. The UK Government has not responded within the 90 calendar days to the OFT CUPI report and as such remains open. One result of the above is that competition within the geographic information market has been distorted.

 

 

 

 

 

4 The National Interest Mapping Service Agreement - NIMSA (Conclusion c)

 

4.1 The HoC TLR-C Conclusion (c) was not met throughout the lifetime of NIMSA. The published Annual Accounts of the OSGB have not complied with the legal requirement for financial transparency in that only the total amount of the NIMSA subsidy received each year has been reported. The NIMSA payment in the context of the OSGB Annual Profit & Loss accounts is significant as TABLE 4.1 shows and as such demonstrates the need for financial transparency with respect to any cross-subsidisation that maybe taking place.

 

TABLE 4.1

NIMSA details obtained from OS-GB published Annual reports

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NIMSA Year

Year

Received for NIMSA

Accumulated Total

 

Operating Surplus*

OS Total Turnover

Less NIMSA

1

1999-2000

14,616,800

14,616,800

 

12,484,000

99,586,000

84,969,200

2

2000-2001

13,454,136

28,070,936

 

27,342,000

98,558,000

85,103,864

3

2001-2002

15,987,245

44,058,181

 

(- 7,562,000)

102,631,000

86,643,755

4

2002-2003

12,546,480

56,604,661

 

(- 2,213,000)

108,042,000

95,495,520

5

2003-2004

12,820,427

69,425,088

 

5,582,000

116,280,000

103,459,573

6

2004-2005

13,179,461

82,604,549

 

9,177,000

114,738,000

101,558,539

7

2005-2006

10,925,516

93,530,065

 

 

 

 

 

Total to date

93,530,065

 

 

44,810,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* Surplus/Deficit(-) on ordinary activities before interest and exceptional items

 

 

4.2 Over the lifetime of NIMSA the Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) has only published five NIMSA annual reports[20]. The Department published these reports towards the end of the period. TABLE 4.2 shows that the financial reporting improved following the publication of the HoC TLR-C report. The financial information provided however, is not sufficient to meet the requirement of transparency with respect to cross-subsidisation between the public task and the commercial activities.

TABLE 4.2

Financial Year

Financial Information included

NIMSA Annual Report 2005/06

Financial breakdown provided

NIMSA Annual Report 2004/05

Financial breakdown provided

NIMSA Annual Report 2003/04

Financial breakdown provided

NIMSA Annual Report 2002/03

Financial breakdown provided

NIMSA Annual Report 2001/02

Financial totals only

NIMSA Annual Report 2000/01 Not published on the DCLG web site. Available via FOI Request to OSGB

Financial totals only

 

4.3 The National Interest Mapping Service Agreement signed between the Customer (DETR) and the Supplier (OSGB) has not been placed in the public domain even though this is not a commercial arrangement but a National Interest (Public interest) agreement. The signed Agreement provides the basis for assessing whether the services defined in the Agreement have been delivered in accordance with the Agreement. The Agreement (Released by the OSGB in respect to an FOI request Number 41577) shows that the Agreement was still being varied even though the Agreement had come into force as shown in TABLE 4.3. Schedule D of the Agreement documents the Profile of proposed NIMSA services and costs 1999/00 to 2005/06 is shown in Annex A of this submission. Schedule D highlights the need for financial transparency in respect of cross subsidisation as a number of entries will be common to the OSGB computerised databases for example Corporate Data Management, Technical security.

TABLE 4.3

Version

Date

Description

1.0

October 1998

First issue

1.1

February 2000

Replacement pages E.1 and E.2*

1.2

February 2001

Complete reissue

 

* Schedule E: Terms of Reference for the NIMSA review group.

 

4.4 NIMSA was for a seven year period from April 1999 through to the end of March 2006. The DCLG in the October statement on NIMSA states that NIMSA funding will end on the 31st December 2006 - an overrun of eight calendar months. The trend within Government to extend supply agreements and contracts that are not open to competition distorts the market.[21]

 

4.5 The Governments response to the HoC TLR-C report recommendation (c) states:

 

"NIMSA charges are audited every year and have never been the subject of adverse audit comment since NIMSA was established on 1st April 1999."

 

4.6 However the Annual NIMSA reports published contain no official Audit statement to corroborate the above statement. It is not clear from the published NIMSA annual reports what the Audit process involves. It is also not clear how the Department was ensuring value for money. Information released under the FOI Act, and in response to letters - refer Annex B; would indicate that the formal NIMSA Audit process was part of a much larger Audit process and that NIMSA itself was not subject to a specific Audit. The information provided indicates that the Department was not part of the Audit process.

 

4.7 Evidence on the Value for Money can be ascertained from at least two parts of NIMSA for example the metadata service (GIgateway) and the update or Rural Addresses. The metadata service was subcontracted to the Association of Geographic Information (AGI) in 2001. The AGI employed up to 6 people to manage and deliver the metadata services. A comparison of the AGI Annual Accounts published at Companies House with those of the NIMSA Annual reports published by the Department shows that the OSGB overhead of managing this contract was on average 33% even when the alignment of the financial years is taken into account.

 

TABLE 4.7

Year

AGI received (Jan to Dec)

OS-GB Received (Apr to Mar)

OS-GB Handling

Percentage Overhead

2001

263,000

393,333

130,333

33.14%

2002

278,000

396,526

118,526

29.89%

2003

251,938

403,775

151,837

37.60%

 

4.8 The above raises a number of points that the committee may wish to consider and note.

 

1. The requirement for financial transparency has not been met.

 

2. The Department's management of NIMSA improved with time which maybe in response to the HoC TLR-C report as well as the ongoing external pressures for greater transparency.

 

3. The financial audit process is far from clear and as a result it is not proven that the value for money was being achieved.

 

4. NIMSA overran the seven year period which has an impact on the market.

 

5. The NIMSA consultation was not conducted in accordance with the Cabinet Office Consultation guidelines - refer Annex C of this submission.

 

6. In light of the above the Departments conclusions on the future of NIMSA in the October 2006 statement is correct in that requests for financial transparency have not been met, the value for money is questionable, NIMSA distorts the market. The Department decision in effect ensures compliance with the law. The Department then has the freedom to procure services that it deems are required in the National Interest via open competition.

 

7. The OSGB views NIMSA as a commercial contract as many of the documents held and referenced by the National Audit Office - Refer to Annex B that originate from the OSGB are marked Commercial in Confidence. If separate accounts were produced for the public task role and the commercial role then the necessity felt by OSGB to mark their documents as Commercial in Confidence would not be required.

 

5 OSGB Annual Report and Financial Accounts

 

5.1 The OSGB Annual Report and Financial Accounts are not transparent as required by EU legislation and HM Treasury requirements. In response to an FOI Act request HM Treasury states (Refer Annex D of this submission) that Trading Funds must ensure that their accounts are transparent with respect to subsidies received. The HM Treasury also states that it is down to the responsible Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) to ensure that the Financial Accounts comply with the HM Treasury guidance.

 

5.2 With respect to HoC TLR-C Conclusion (a) prices - the OSGB Annual Report for the past six plus years contains an Adverse report from the National Audit Office regarding the value of the database. The Adverse report makes the point that this affects the price. In response to an FOI Act Request (Annex E) the National Audit Office states that has is still to be resolved.

 

 

6 Compliance with PSI Regulations SI 1515 - 2005 (EU Directive 2003/98/EC)

 

6.1 The PSI Regulations 2005 came into force in the 1st July 2005. In January 2006 (7 months after the PSI Regulations came into force) the OSGB published a document titled Licence Exceptions (D03800.doc Jan 2006) that did not comply with the Regulations in a number of areas. For example:

 

"Please note that we may refuse a licence in certain circumstances including the following:

 

1 We may refuse to grant certain applications if:

 

your request to reproduce Ordnance Survey mapping falls outside Ordnance Survey's standard

licensing terms and conditions; or

 

you want to market a product whose intended use is the same as, or comparable to, that of any

product marketed by Ordnance Survey itself or any product which Ordnance Survey intends to

market."

 

"7 We will only licence Ordnance Survey published products. We will not licence mapping information which is used as part of our production flowline."

 

6.2 The OPSI has subsequently taken the matter up with the OSGB with respect to ensuring compliance.

 

6.3 The above raises a number of points that the committee may wish to consider and note.

 

1. Where are the OSGB boundaries documented and set? The OSGB Framework document does not define them and the potential re-user of OSGB data according to Licence Exception Clause 1 bullet 2 has to guess where the OSGB boundaries are.

 

2. The Licence Exception may infringe EU Treaty Article 82 in that it is an abuse of dominant position.

 

3. The Licence Exception can be used to control the market, which is explicitly prohibited within the PSI Regulations. In this example the potential re-user of the OSGB data has to divulge their business plans and only then discovers whether the OSGB will licence the data, which it may refuse on the grounds that the OSGB is considering entering the same market!

 

4. The Licence Exception clause 7 defines the base line with respect to the PSI Regulations regarding refined and unrefined data from the OSGB's perspective, a point that the OFT CUPI report also considers.

 

5. Public sector resources have to be devoted to correct the situation, which should not have arisen in the first place. Whilst the matter is resolved the geographic information market is impacted.

 

6. The example is but one that demonstrates that the OSGB can introduce such documents without notice and in a time scale that verges on the instantaneous, yet the correction and or withdrawal takes an inordinate amount of time. This is visible (transparent) with respect:

 

To the OPSI Information Fair Trader Scheme (IFTS) reports where the OPSI requires the OSGB to change licences and other conditions that do not conform to the IFTS.

Resolving complaints upheld by the OPSI under the PSI Regulations.

 

 

7 Market Impact - Local Government Mapping Service Agreement

 

7.1 An analysis of the Local Government Mapping Service Agreement procurement clearly shows that the OSGB actions delayed the procurement. The difference between the timescales published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) notice and the actual timescales are shown in the TABLES 7.1A and 7.1B.

TABLE 7.1A: MSA OJEC Notice

Event

Date

Reference

74274100

Type of Contract

Restricted Procedure

Period of Contract

1.04.04 to 31.03.07

Publication date of Notice

17.06.03

Closing date for obtaining document

14.07.03

Closing date for Expression of Interest

25.07.03

Dispatch of Tender document

10.10.03

Closing date for tender

21.01.04

 

TABLE 7.1B: MSA Time Analysis

Date

Elapsed Days

Event

17.06.2003

1

OJEC Notice Call for expression of interest

5.11.2003

141

Invitation to Tender issued

16.12.2003

182

Bids received (Tender closed)

20.02.2004

248

Preferred bidders announced

26.05.2005

709

Announcement MSA has been signed between the 3 suppliers and I&DeA

31.05.2005

714

LGIH dispatch LA MSA Agreements

31.07.2005

775

Deadline for LA's to return MSA 70% of fees threshold must be met

2.09.2005

808

I&DeA announces 99.46% of LA's had signed the MSA

 

7.2 The above raises a number of points that the committee may wish to consider and note.

 

1. The procurement was divided into Lots (as is recommended by UK OGC). Different lots were awarded to three suppliers - two from the private sector and one from the public sector (OSGB). Agreement was reached at an early stage with the two private sector companies that covered the duration of the contract but protracted with respect to the public sector supplier (OSGB). Due to the construct of the procurement all three suppliers had to have reached agreement with the Local Government procurement body before the MSA could be presented to the individual local government bodies for signing. The cost of the procurement alone is estimated to be in the region of 10 million plus.

 

2. While the procurement process was under way the previous Local Government Service level Agreement where the OSGB provided all the data products - that was not awarded under open competition; continued in force. i.e. the OSGB continued to receive income. In contrast the private sector companies awarded the other lots could not proceed or receive income!

 

3. During the procurement process the OSGB announced new products that were not available at the time of the announcement. The products announced were competitive products to those already awarded to the private sector companies that the Local Government procurement authority had reached agreement.

 

4. Whilst the procurement was in process the OSGB together with the Department (DTLR, OPDM, DCLG) announced the National Spatial Address Infrastructure (NSAI). The Department on the 1st June 2007 made an announcement that it will not proceed further with the NSAI!

 

5. The Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) has experienced a similar delay with respect to PGA2. Whilst the delay continues PGA1 has been extended. i.e. the OSGB continues to receive income.

 

6. Although the market perception on the delays is one of anti competitive behaviour on the behalf of the OSGB it can also be taken as an indicator that the OSGB places contractual conditions on Customers that are unacceptable to their real world business requirements and as such indicates that the OSGB maybe abusing its dominant position.

 

7. In both the MSA and PGA the OSGB was the incumbent supplier to other parts of the public sector and as such the OSGB is in a position to not only maintain the income through delay but also able to use its relationship with the Minister and the Department (DTLR, ODPM, DCLG) to influence events. This clearly is not a level playing field with respect to the private companies that are OSGB's competitors. As such there is a market distortion. This situation is further distorted when the Director General serves a Chair of the GIP and previously was a member of the Departments board.

 

8. The same delaying technique is also apparent when Regulators require the OSGB to comply with their decisions.

 

8 Lack of Transparency - Quinquennial Review Stage 2

 

8.1 Although the conclusion of the OSGB quinquennial stage 2 pre dates the HoC TLR-C report publication it is notable that the OSGB quinquennial review stage 2 report produced by National Economic Research Associates has not been placed in the public domain even though quinquennail review stage 1 report has been. The review process was undertaken in the public interest using public funds and as such the document should be publicly available.

 

8.2 The lack of transparency with respect to the quinquennial review is yet another example of the lack of transparency and delays mentioned elsewhere in this submission. This demonstrates that there has been little change by the OSGB and the Department since the publication of the HoC TLR-C report. This not only impacts the geographic information market, public sector initiatives but as importantly that of accountability which weakens the democratic processes.

 

 

 

Note: Further supporting information can be provided to support the submission if required.


 

Annex A - NIMSA Schedule D Analysis

 

 

Schedule D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

Forecast

 

 

 

NIMSA

NIMSA

NIMSA

NIMSA

NIMSA

NIMSA

NIMSA

Total

Ref

Description

1999/00

2000/01

2001/02

2002/03

2003/04

2004/05

2005/06

 

1

Scientific geodesy

61,300

63,752

66,302

68,954

71,712

74,581

77,564

484,165

2

Maintenance of Horizontal Control Network

71,500

74,360

77,334

30,400

31,616

32,881

34,196

352,287

3

Maintenance of Vertical Control Network

54,000

56,160

58,406

33,183

33,183

33,183

33,183

301,298

4

National Topographic Database

4,624,000

4,281,456

4,206,620

4,334,365

2,369,100

876,600

876,600

21,568,741

5

Revision of Rural, Mountain & Moorland mapping

6,677,995

4,331,956

4,060,251

4,050,000

4,050,000

4,050,000

4,050,000

31,270,202

6

Positional accuracy improvement of 1:2500 mapping

650,000

650,000

650,000

676,000

731,162

760,408

790,825

4,908,395

7

Maintenance of National Height Data

70,400

71,936

73,533

43,195

44,923

46,719

48,588

399,294

8

1:10 000 Derived mapping

790,000

300,000

100,000

100,000

100,000

100,000

100,000

1,590,000

9

Boundaries

1,169,192

903,519

894,660

890,464

925,311

961,552

999,243

6,743,941

10

Core Funding for the NGDF

225,425

225,425

100,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

750,850

11

Tidal surveys

125,000

125,000

130,000

135,200

140,608

146,232

152,082

954,122

12

Definitive Names including Welsh and Gaelic

200,000

125,000

150,000

75,000

50,000

50,000

50,000

700,000

13

Rights of Way

37,500

39,000

40,560

42,182

43,870

45,624

47,449

296,185

14

Maintain and publish national 1:25 000 series mapping

1,245,000

500,000

520,000

540,800

674,918

701,915

729,992

4,912,625

15

Corporate Data Management

425,000

270,000

280,800

292,032

303,713

315,862

328,496

2,215,903

16

Technical security

41,600

43,264

44,995

46,794

48,666

50,613

52,637

328,569

17

Providing Mapping for emergency / security purposes

20,800

21,632

22,497

23,397

24,333

253,906

26,319

392,884

18

Representing Government

75,000

75,000

75,000

75,000

75,000

75,000

75,000

525,000

19

Public Enquiries and NIMSA Management

106,288

110,540

114,961

119,560

124,342

129,316

134,488

839,495

20

Educational promotion

50,000

52,000

54,080

56,243

58,493

60,833

63,266

394,915

 

Original Estimate Total

16,720,000

12,320,000

11,719,999

11,682,769

9,950,950

8,815,225

8,719,928

79,928,871

 

NIMSA Annual Reviews - Total

14,600,000

13,500,000

17,051,552

12,546,480

13,179,462

13,179,461.00

10,925,516

94,982,471

 

Difference

2,120,000

- 1,180,000

- 5,331,553

- 863,711

- 3,228,512

- 4,364,236

- 2,205,588

- 15,053,600


 

 

Annex B NIMSA - Freedom of Information Requests & Letters

 

 

B1 National Audit Office

 

16 February 2005

B360

 

Dear Mr Corbin

 

National Interest Mapping Service Agreement

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for information on the National Interest Mapping Service Agreement. Attached is a list of documents as requested.

If you require any further information, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mandy Dolphin

Information Centre Manager

National Audit Office

 

 

 

Freedom of Information request - NIMSA

 

 

 

 

 

All documents covering the period 1998 onwards relating to the National Interest Mapping Services agreement

 

 

 

 

SOURCE

DATE OF DOCUMENT (MM/YY)

NAME OF DOCUMENT

ORIGINATING ORGANISATION

 

 

 

 

Shared area/paper folder

July,2002

Correspondence folder - various documents. GF/1399/02 (from OS licensed partner and competitor GetMapping). Linked to 1436/02

NAO

Shared area/paper folder

July,2002

Correspondence folder - various documents. GF/1436/02 (from Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP). Linked to 1399/02

NAO

Shared area

2002

0723minute to PSC&AG.doc (word) - re the two pieces of correspondence above

NAO

Keystone/paper folder

Jan,2003

Paul Green draft 070103 - correspondence from Geographic Industry Forum (GF/1672/02)

NAO

Keystone/paper folder

Jan,2003

Paul Green draft 070103 - correspondence from Geographic Industry Forum (GF/1672/02)

NAO

Keystone/paper folder

Dec,2002

Paul Green draft 041202 - correspondence from Geographic Industry Forum (GF/1672/02)

NAO

Archive

1999/2000

Audit file - paper folder

NAO

Keystone

2002/03 and 2003/04

Various Board minutes, Operating Board, Strategy Board, Investment Group. Some mentions of NIMSA

OS - Restricted Commercial

Team 21

2000/2001

Audit file

NAO

Team 21

2001/2002

Audit file

NAO

Team 21

2002/2003

Audit file

NAO

Keystone

March 2002 and June 2002

Various Excel spreadsheets - copies of summary reports prepared for NIMSA Review Group and NIMSA Project Board (68 documents)

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

June,2002

NIMSA Paper 2 NRG14.doc

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

NIMSA Paper 1 NRG14.doc

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

April,2003

IA NIMSA Audit Objectives 2002-03

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2003

0203 ver 7 Final proposal for NRG15

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

June,2002

NIMSA Paper 2 NRG13.doc

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

June,2002

NIMSA Progress Report Paper 1 NRG 14

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

Annex A to NIMSA Paper 1 NRG13

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

Annex B to NIMSA Paper 1 NRG14

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

Annex C to NIMSA Paper 1 NRG15

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

Appendix A to NIMSA Paper 3 NRG13

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

Appendix B to NIMSA Paper 3 NRG13 cover note

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

NIMSA Progress Report Paper 3 NRG13

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

March,2002

NIMSA coding flags - 1 Feb 2002

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

April,2003

OS F43 400 04

NAO

Keystone

August,2004

List of Internal Audit reports

NAO

Keystone

April,2003

Annex 3 database

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

June,2004

OS Internal Audit plan (Jan2004)

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

June,2004

OS internal audit work plan May 2004

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

September,2003

Rolling plan

NAO

Keystone

December,2002

Correspondence status report

NAO

Keystone

June,2004

Summary of audit for Audit Committee meeting 28 May 2004

NAO

Keystone

June,2004

NAO 900 Understanding the business

NAO

Keystone

June,2004

Annexes for Audit Committee 28 May 2004

NAO

Keystone

June,2004

High level management report 2003-04

NAO

Keystone

July,2004

Annual report and account (draft)

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

November,2003

Chris Corbin to ODPM 031010

NAO

Keystone

July,2004

Framework document July 2004

OS Restricted commercial

Keystone

July,2004

13.07.04 Summary of meeting 8 July 2004

NAO

Keystone

Jul-04

Executive Summary 2003-04

NAO

Keystone

Sept,2003

C END YEAR REPORT ODPM 02-03 (Final draft JCR 17 Sept)

ODPM

Keystone

Sept,2003

C END YEAR REPORT ODPM 02-03 (Final draft JCR 17 Sept)

ODPM

Keystone

Oct,2003

Stewardship report Planning 2002-03

ODPM

Keystone

June.2003

Audit Strategy 2003-04

NAO


 

B2 HM Treasury

 

From: "Adams, John" <John.Adams@hm-treasury.x.gsi.gov.uk>

Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2005 15:50:02 -0000

To: <corbinceh@ntlworld.com>

Subject: Information Request

 

Dear Mr Corbin,

 

Thank you for your e-mailed request of 3 February regarding information relating to the National Interest Mapping Service Agreement (NIMSA), which was also received by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and Ordnance Survey.

 

Papers relevant to your request which we hold are listed below:

 

A cover note addressed to a Treasury official from an official in Ordnance Survey (OS) entitled "Paper produced by NIMSA Working Group", dated 13 January 1998. This covers a discussion paper entitled: "The National Interest in Mapping And The Future Status Of Ordnance Survey";

 

An internal Treasury minute dated 18 September 1998, together with an OS letter of the preceding day addressed to a Treasury official on the same subject, which indicates the interest of Ordnance Survey to compete in the Invest to Save Budget;

 

A paper dated October 1998, entitled Information Paper 18/1998: The National Interest Mapping Service Agreement (NIMSA), issued by Ordnance Survey;

 

A similar document entitled The National Mapping Services Agreement (NIMSA): Annual Report 2003-4;

 

A series of internal E-mails, dated between 5 and 11 January 1999, between HM Treasury officials discussing, inter alia, the financial treatment of OS as regards the NIMSA agreement in view of Ordnance Survey's change of status to a trading fund;

 

Another internal series of E-mails dated 25 and 26 March 1999 regarding delegations between its parent department and Ordnance Survey, including for NIMSA.

 

These are all the documents held by HM Treasury consistent within the ambit of your request. If you subsequently wish to see copies of any or all of these documents we would need to consider at that stage whether any exemptions apply.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

John Adams

Correspondence Manager

HM Treasury

1 Horse Guards Road

London SW1A 2HQ

**********************************************************************

If you have received this email and it was not intended for you, please let us know, and then delete it. Please treat our information in confidence, as you would expect us to treat yours.

 

All Treasury information systems may be monitored to ensure that they are operating correctly. Furthermore, the content of emails and other data on these systems 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 the Government Secure Intranet (GSi) virus scanning service supplied exclusively by Energis in partnership with MessageLabs. On leaving the GSi this email was certified virus-free

 

 

 

B3 Office of Government Commerce

 

3 March 2005

 

 

Dear Mr Corbin

 

Freedom of Information Act Request reference NO: 98575

 

Thank you for your request for information dated 3rd February 2005, which was received by OGC on 3rd February 2005. I note you seek access to the following information:

 

Please could you provide me with a list of all documents held by your organization (irrespective of the author and originating organisation) that relate to the National interest Mapping Service Agreement (NIMSA) covering the period 1998 until the current time. If it is possible I would also wish to receive the date of the document and the name of the originating organisation (not authors name).

 

Following receipt of your request searches were conducted within OGC to locate information relevant to your request. I can confirm that OGC holds the Information you have requested.

 

OGC has decided to disclose the located information to you in full.


A copy of the information is enclosed at Annex A.

 

<snip>

 

Ruth Fagg

Head of Information Management

 

Annex A

Date of Document

Name of Document

Originating Organisation

9th February 2000

Note of Meeting with Peter Buist, Corporate Data Manager Ordnance Survey on 2.2.2000

Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency

1st September 2004

Consultations into the future of the National Interest Mapping Services Agreement (NIMSA)

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

 

 


B4 House of Commons

 

 

House of Commons Information Office

House of Commons

London SW1A 2TT

Tel: 020 7219 4272

hcinfo@parliament.uk

 

2005/2/11-HCIO 17 February 2004

 

Dear Mr Corbin

 

National Interest Mapping Services Agreement

 

You asked for information on documents held by the House of Commons related to the National Interest Mapping Services Agreement.

 

I'm afraid after checking our records we would not appear to have any document indexed as relating to NIMSA. Having looked through our archives on the Parliamentary Online Indexing Service (POLIS)[22] I have identified only thirteen Parliamentary Questions relating to the agreement. None of those resulted in papers being deposited in the House Library. There were, however, references to the Ordnance Survey Annual Report in which details of activities of the NIMSA group would be published. The Library holds those annual reports but they are also available online.[23]

 

Searching the Parliamentary website also reveals hits for the full phrase 'National Interest Mapping Services Agreement'. You can access those occasions by searching the phrase on the advanced search option on the Parliament website.

 

The search identifies several parliamentary questions and two select committee reports. Those select committee reports are available on the Parliament website. The Transport committee's 18th report 2003/04 on Galileo,[24] the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister Committee's First Special Report 2001/02 on Ordnance Survey: Government Reply to the Tenth Report of Session 2001-02 from the Transport, Local Government and the Regions Committee,[25] the Transport, Local Government and the Regions committee's report 2001/02 on Ordnance Survey,[26] the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs committee's report 2000/01 on Departmental Annual Report 2000 and Expenditure Plans 2000-2001 [27] and their report 1997/98 on The Departmental Annual Report 1998 and Expenditure Plans 1998-99 [28] all make mention of NIMSA and have appendices where organisations have submitted evidence that has been published by the committees. These may be of interest to you.

 

I'm afraid this is the extent to which we have been able to locate documentation on this general topic.

 

If there is more specific information that you require we will be happy to aid you in locating and potentially providing you with that.

 

I hope this proves useful in your research.

 

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Stephen McGinness

House of Commons Information Office


 


 

 


Chris Corbin


 

PHILIP WHITE

Divisional Manager

PLUS

3/J9

Eland House

Bressenden Place

London

SW1E 5DU

 

Direct line: 020 7944 5520

Fax: 020 7944 5519

GTN: 3533 5520

E-mail philip.white@odpm.gsi.gov.uk

 

Web site: www.odpm.gov.uk

 

22 December 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Mr Corbin

 

Thank you for your email of 1 December to Ken Swan. I am replying in my capacity as Chair of the NIMSA Review Group, having recently taken this role in place of Peter Capell.

 

Taking the questions you raised (your numbering):

 

1/5/7: The contents of the Annual Report have indeed changed over time, as the agreement and the work undertaken within it has developed. We have been consistently aiming to make the reports increasingly informative and transparent since the agreement's inception. We consider that the NIMSA Annual Reports have given adequate accounts of NIMSA activities and spending, and do not propose to retrospectively examine core financial and present additional financial information for those years. This would require a considerable investment in staff time. We have, however, noted your comments and will consider these as we draw up our next report for the current year.

 

2: The publication performance against target has been recognised and is already under discussion between ODPM and Ordnance Survey. We are discussing ways that the time lag can be reduced. This target has not been met in the past for a number of reasons including the number of parties involved in its production and approval. ODPM and Ordnance Survey are agreed on the need for a timely and achievable target date that is consistently met. The more timely publication of the 2003/04 Report was a significant step forward.

 

3: Information about NIMSA now appears on ODPM's website at http://www.odpm.gov.uk/stellent/groups/odpm_planning/documents/page/odpm_plan_607355.hcsp

 

4: The 2004 ODPM Annual Report was silent on geographic information issues dealt with by the Office. We envisage that there will be an appropriate entry for 2005 which would, amongst other things, refer to NIMSA funding.

 

6. Each year's NIMSA accounts are audited by the Ordnance Survey internal audit team on behalf of ODPM. This occurs as part of the wider National Audit Office (NAO) audit of Ordnance Survey accounts. In 1999/2000, with the NIMSA agreement having been recently set up, NAO reviewed the accounting methods used in NIMSA processes. They endorsed the methodology being used in terms of the way Ordnance Survey recover its costs through ODPM for NIMSA activities' revenue.

We understand how the wording used in the report to refer to NAO involvement could be ambiguous, and this will be made clearer in future documents.

 

8: We are conscious that overall there has been no independent check on value for money since Ordnance Survey have been the sole providers of funded services and activities since the inception of the agreement. The NIMSA RG does consider value for money issues and through established and audited procurement arrangements Ordnance Survey ensure that those with whom they contract whose work contributes to NIMSA outputs, provide value for money. As Ordnance Survey's NIMSA activity is charged against actuals and not budget, NIMSA benefits immediately from any improvements in Ordnance Survey efficiency. These efficiencies have been beneficial to NIMSA.

 

9: As you note, NIMSA activities vary over time. This is the case for two main reasons: firstly, affordability; and secondly as a result of reviewing the activities to align them appropriately to the external (changing) environment.

The NIMSA Review Group must balance what could be done with what is affordable. NRG prioritises the activities which qualify for NIMSA funding. The most important and complex activities such as cyclic revision/PAI are planned and managed as projects.

 

10: The current NIMSA agreement supports Ordnance Survey's national interest activities that would otherwise be uneconomic to undertake. As such, the national interest is evaluated by considering the potential activities and prioritising the most important ones. Proposals from the broader GI community are considered and supported where affordable and achievable.

Activities supported by NIMSA are assessed against the 3 principles of NIMSA (namely mapping areas that would not otherwise be mapped; consistency; and maintenance of infrastructure). A fundamental principle is that NIMSA supports only the collection and maintenance of datasets, not the provision of those datasets to users.

 

11. As you are aware, a consultation into the future of NIMSA has recently completed. Once the responses to this consultation have been analysed, options will be developed. Depending on the options proposed, an RIA and further consultation may be needed at that stage. The consultants report, incorporating a summary of the responses received, will be made available on ODPM's website. The report should be published by February or March at the latest.

 

ODPM and Ordnance Survey intend NIMSA to be as open as possible and for the deliverables it produces in the national interest to be well known. Therefore, effective governance of the agreement is important to us. That is why targets are set, performance monitored and activities in scope of the agreement are regularly reviewed.

 

Looking forward, I believe that you are aware of and have contributed to the consultation into NIMSA's future. We will of course take account of all comments in determining its future direction.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

PHILIP WHITE


 

Annex C Conduct of the NIMSA Consultation

 

An extract from the submission made by C.Corbin to the Response to the consultation into the future of the National Interest Mapping Service Agreement (NIMSA) published on the 1st September 2004[29] and as referenced in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) News Release published on the 20th September 2004[30] and the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain (OS-GB) News Release published on the 20th September 2004[31].

 

 

"Conduct of the Consultation

 

The conduct of the consultation is disappointing especially considering that the consultation is being run according to the Cabinet Office Code of Practice on Consultation[32] and is in the National Interest, for the following reasons:

No specific cut-off date for submissions has been quoted - one assumes 30th November 2004;

No reference to the NIMSA Annual reports that have been published since NIMSA commenced which would have helped the consultees in understanding how NIMSA funding has been applied since inception. Only one NIMSA annual report was made available. No reference was made on the NIMSA consultation web site with respect to the 2003/2004 NIMSA Annual report once that was published on the 4th November on the OS-GB web site.[33]

No financial information has been provided that clearly shows the financial inputs and outputs as related to how NIMSA was utilised by the OS-GB.

No performance information has been provided. i.e. the annual targets and the level of achievement each year.

The information provided and published is not explicit with respect to whether the submissions would be published (subject to the submitters approval) on the web site as the next step. i.e. lack of transparency; or just summarised into the Consultants report to the ODPM.

The questionnaire structure does not encourage participation in that the broad range of interested parties such as other data providers and service providers and their existence in the market place have not been acknowledged. For example Question A3, which does not include Data Providers, Information Providers or citizens other than to place them in other!

The questionnaire verges on being a market survey - reference Section B and an awareness raising activity for NIMSA - reference Section D of the questionnaire; rather than a consultation!"


 

Annex D Financial Transparency

 

HM Treasury

 

From: "Adams, John" <John.Adams@hm-treasury.x.gsi.gov.uk>

Date: Fri, 15 Apr 2005 09:51:56 +0100

To: corbinceh <corbinceh@ntlworld.com>

Subject: RE: FOI Request HM Treasury - Trading Funds Annual report and Accounts - transparency. REference Email/01727/05

 

Thank you for your email of 23 March 2005 in which you ask the following questions:

 

1. What is the HM Treasury's position with respect to 'transparency' within Trading Fund Annual reports and statement of Accounts? Where 'transparency' means reporting in the annual accounts separately or clearly what the accounts are for the National Interest role and what the accounts are for the acting competitively in the market role for example the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain so that the activities of both roles are clearly visible and any cross subsidisation if occurring is transparent.

 

2. Is guidance provided by HM Treasury to Trading Funds with respect to ensuring 'transparency' as defined in item 1 above? If yes where is that guidance documented? If it is not documented what is the guidance given?

 

3. What is HM Treasury's position and intentions with respect to the implementation of the EU Directive on the reuse of Public Sector Information that is currently being transposed into UK law by the DTI and the OPSI (Formerly know as the HMSO - details can be found on the OPSI web site under Public Sector Information http://www.hmso.gov.uk ). What guidance if any will be provided to the Trading Funds with respect to ensuring the conditions set out in the PSI Directive will be reflected in the Annual report and statement of Accounts of each of the Trading Funds?

 

4. In the opinion of the HM Treasury are Trading Fund annual reports and accounts that were produced for 2003/04 which have been published 'transparent' (as required by EU law)?

 

5. In HM Treasury opinion which Trading Funds are producing annual reports that meet the transparency requirement?

 

As general comments, we have interpreted the questions relating to transparency to relate to the EU Directive on transparency of financial relations (2000/52/EC which amends 80/723/EEC). The Department of Trade and Industry is in the lead on implementing this Directive and has recently launched a consultation process (http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/stateaid/saconsultation.htm ) to establish which bodies are likely to be caught by the Directive and the extent to which its requirements may already be met by any current obligations.

 

As the consultation document (Appendix 1) notes, existing administrative procedures were used to ensure the observance of earlier versions of the Transparency Directive, and the latest amendment (2000/52/EC - the subject of the consultation) has not yet been implemented in the UK. Once the consultation process has been completed and DTI has considered how the Directive is to be implemented, H M Treasury will advise trading funds, -probably by means of amendments to the accounting guidance for trading funds (the Financial Reporting Manual (http://www.financial-reporting.gov.uk )) - of the Directive to ensure that bodies maintain the necessary information to enable a trading fund's public interest role to be distinguished from its commercial role.

 

DTI has noted that the Directive is to be viewed in the context of underpinning the EC state aid regime by providing the European Commission (which has responsibility for policing and enforcing that regime) with sufficient investigative tools to help it to identify illegal state aid.

 

The consultation period for the Directive on the Reuse of Public Sector Information ended on 18 March 2005 (http://www.hmso.gov.uk/psi/eudpsi-consultations.htm ) and the Treasury, together with other bodies, is in consultation with HMSO regarding the publication of a Guide to Best Practice for public sector bodies prior to the Directive coming into force in July 2005. This Guide will be published on the HMSO website.

 

The department that sponsors an individual trading fund will monitor the fund's compliance with accounting and reporting requirements - the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for Ordnance Survey - and H M Treasury does not, as a matter of routine, undertake such a monitoring role.

 

Our responses to the question raised in your email are as follows:

 

1. The Treasury's position - for 2004-05 as set out in Trading Funds - Accounts Guidance (http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Documents/Public_Spending_and_Services/Audit_and_Accounting/pss_aud_tfunds.cfm ) and for 2005-06 in the Financial Reporting Manual (see above) - is that trading fund accounts should be prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting practice (GAAP) in the United Kingdom, which, in the public sector context, is taken to include any relevant EU Directives.

 

2. No guidance has yet been issued to trading funds in respect of the EU Transparency Directive, but government departments, including the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (which is responsible for Ordnance Survey), has been alerted to the consultation through a letter issued to Finance Directors of departments dated 23 March 2005 (copy attached). Current guidance is set out in the weblink to point (1) above.

 

3. The Treasury's position on the implementation of the Directive on the Reuse of Public Sector information is, as noted above, that the Treasury, together with a number of other bodies, are consulting with HMSO about the Guide to Best Practice which will be issued in due course on HMSO's website. Trading funds will be advised of the publication of the Guide, either through a specific notification or through appropriate amendments to the accounting guidance for trading funds (see above).

 

4 and 5. As set out above H M Treasury does not, as a matter of routine, undertake a monitoring role and therefore the information requested in questions 4 and 5 is not held by H M Treasury.

 

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are unhappy with the level of service you have received in relation to your request from HM Treasury you may ask for an internal review. You should contact Kate Jenkins in the Information Rights Unit at the above address if you wish to make a complaint.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

 

Yours

 

John Adams

Correspondence Manager

H M Treasury

 

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Annex E OSGB Financial Accounts - Resolving Adverse Statement

 

National Audit Office

 

B361

1 August 2005

Dear Mr Corbin

Ordnance Survey

I am writing to confirm that we have now completed our search for the information you requested on Ordnance Survey. Attached are the answers to your specific questions.

If you require any further information, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

 

Yours sincerely,

Mandy Dolphin

Information Centre Manager

 

1. Who is responsible for resolving the Adverse Statement Regarding the value of the Asset (database)?

 

This is a matter for the NAO and Ordnance Survey to resolve. The NAO are taking this forward with OS, ODPM and Treasury.

 

What are the reasons as to why this matter has not been resolved?

The reasons are set out within the 2004-05 Annual Report and accounts.

 

The qualification of the Ordnance Survey accounts in each of the past 6 years has arisen as a result of a disagreement between Ordnance Survey and the NAO over the capitalisation of the data within the National Geographic Database. The qualification has not been resolved for reasons set out in the C&AG's report included within the 2004/05 Annual Report and Accounts. In summary Ordnance Survey has made clear that it does not intend to revise the accounting treatment of the National Geographic database until and unless the current accounting standards and recommendations change. The NAO's position on the matter is equally clear but the audit opinion is proactively reviewed each year in the normal course of the audit.

 

2. Has NAO considered the implications of the PSI Directive when undertaking the Audit function of public sector bodies but in particular Trading Funds?

 

The PSI Directive has been implemented in the UK through Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1515 The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005. We understand the legislation relates to the use of information from public sector bodies for a purpose other than its initial purpose, and the ability to request permission to do so from the relevant public sector body.

 

We are considering whether the Directive has any implications for our audit, but indications are that compliance with such legislation would not directly impact on our audit opinion on the financial statements. As such we would not plan and perform our audit specifically to test Ordnance Survey's compliance with the Statutory Instrument. We would, however, enquire as a matter of course as to the systems and controls our clients have in place to ensure they themselves comply with all applicable laws and standards.

 

3. What advice have the NAO given to the OS-GB on the value of the individual databases and the need to declare the accounting period over which the price of products is determined?

 

The advice given to Ordnance Survey on the value of the databases is contained within the C&AG's report in the 2004/05 Annual Report and Accounts. That is, having sought professional advice that the value of the data to the business in 2000 was at least 50m.

 

4. What advice has the NAO given to the ODPM that is the Department responsible for ensuring that the OS-GB comply with EU law, UK law, HM Treasury Trading Fund financial reporting and the SI 1515 (2005)?

 

The NAO has not specifically provided ODPM with any advice on how it should ensure that Ordnance Survey complies with relevant laws, regulations and financial reporting guidance.

 

5. What role does the NAO envisage it has in ensuring the S1 1515 (2005) framework is complied with, with respect to the financial aspects?

 

The financial aspects of Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1515 The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 relate to charges which public sector bodies may impose for the reuse of information for a purpose other than its initial purpose, and the ability to request permission to do so from the relevant public sector body. As already explained in paragraph 2 the indications are that compliance with the legislation would not directly impact on our audit opinion and so no specific testing to ensure compliance would be planned or performed.

 

 



[1] Tenth Report (HC481) OS13 (a) & (b) pages EV88 and 89

[2] I served as an elected member of the AGI Council from 1 January 1995 through to the 31st December 2004.

[3] http://www.epsiplus.net/epsiplus/contacts/epsiplus_network_team_analysts/chris_corbin

[4] http://www.ec-gis.org/ginie/documents.html

[5] http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/psi/library/index_en.htm#MEPSIR_Study,_2006_(PDF_files)

[6] http://www.epsigate.org/index.htm

[7] http://www.ubique.org/spread/

[8] http://www.oecd.org/document/17/0,3343,en_2649_201185_36860241_1_1_1_1,00.html

[9] http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/34/42/37865140.pdf

[10] http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regulations/eu-directive-on-psi.htm

[11] http://www.ogc.gov.uk/procurement_policy_and_application_of_eu_rules_european_procurement_directives.asp

[12] www.dti.gov.uk/files/file37723.pdf

[13] http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:12002E082:EN:NOT

[14] Cm 5641 November 2002 ODPM

[15] HoC TLR-C Tenth Report, page 10 paragraph 15 "...500 government bodies"

[16] http://www.iggi.gov.uk/pga2.php

[17] http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/products/osmastermap/layers/addresslayer2/

[18] http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/psi-regulations/reports.htm

[19] http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ifts/index.htm

[20] http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1144581

[21] The Future of the National Interest Mapping Services Agreement Beyond 2006. October 2006. Product Code: 06FAD04203

 

[22] http://www.polis.parliament.uk/

[23] http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/aboutus/reports/annualreport/

[24] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200304/cmselect/cmtran/1210/121002.htm

[25] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmodpm/1249/124902.htm

[26] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200102/cmselect/cmtlgr/481/48102.htm

[27] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199900/cmselect/cmenvtra/471/47102.htm

[28] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199798/cmselect/cmenvtra/844/84402.htm

[29] https://pronet.wsatkins.co.uk/nimsa/

[30] http://www.odpm.gov.uk/pns/DisplayPN.cgi?pn_id=2004_0224

[31] http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/media/news/2004/sept/septembernimsafuture.html

[32] http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/regulation/consultation/code.asp

[33] http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/aboutus/reports/nimsaannualreport2004.pdf