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ESIBS Software Development


Can you please provide me with all documentation relating to the development of ESIBS software including:

  1. Copies of any prepared business cases.
  2. Full breakdown of budgeted and actual costs to date.
  3. Full breakdown of all budgeted and actual income from ESIBS.
  4. Minutes of any meetings where development of ESIBS was discussed.
  5. Who the final decision maker(s) were for the development of the re-development of the software.



Unfortunately I am unable to provide this information as it is exempt under section 43(2) relating to commercial interests.  Section 43 is a qualified and class based exemption which means that there is no requirement to identify and evidence the harm that would be caused by disclosure; however there is a requirement to consider the public interest. A full public interest test can be found at the end of this response.


£84,020 were the projected development costs which were approved in the business case.



Between 2011 and April 2016 the total revenue generated from the ESIBS system is £80 480.



Please find minutes attached, however redactions have been made to these. Any information not relevant to this request and the names of some employees have been redacted.

These names have been removed because the information you have requested constitutes personal information. The exemption applicable to this is Section 40(2), third party personal information. This is an Absolute exemption so therefore there is no requirement to conduct a harm or public interest test. Any information is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act if it relates to or is supplied by another individual and disclosure of that information would contravene any of the principles of the 1998 Data Protection Act, in this particular case, disclosure of this information would contravene Principles 1 and 2 of the Act, whereby personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully and only obtained for one or more specified purpose or purposes.

In assessing whether employees have a reasonable expectation that their names will not be disclosed, their level of seniority and responsibility has been considered. Additionally we have reviewed whether there is a legitimate interest in the disclosure of these names. The names that have been removed relate to individuals carrying out administrative duties within the meetings and there is no legitimate interest in the disclosure of their personal information. 


Final decisions were made by our Chief Officer Group. 

Question 1 Public Interest Test – section 43(2) Commercial Interests

Factors favouring disclosure

Disclosure of the requested information may go some way to demonstrate the Constabulary is accountable and may contribute to the accuracy of public debate.


Factors favouring non-disclosure

The specifics of the contract if disclosed would allow a competitive company tendering for the same product a commercial advantage, enabling them to review specific parts of the contract and undermine the Constabularies attempt to work collaboratively and to fund further development of the ESIBS service. 


Whist ESIBS is developed by the Constabulary and is not profit gaining, the income generated is used for cost recovery and a small percentage to provide capacity to fund eServices resources to develop and enhance the service further.  ESIBS is one of a number of services we are developing and hosting in this way.


Disclosure of the information would provide a competitive company with an advantage which would therefore undermine our commercial interests as this would affect our recovery of costs, which is based on a three year cycle per force.


Balance Test

When balancing the public interest test we have to consider whether the information should be released into the public domain.  Arguments need to be weighed against each other.


In considering the arguments for disclosure and non-disclosure, whist the value of public debate is recognised, the ability of the constabulary recover costs and effectively negotiate in the future is in the public’s interests and outweigh the considerations favouring disclosure.  On balance the decision is that the required information will not be disclosed on this occasion.

FOI Ref: 668/16

Date of Request: 03.05.16


Related documents

  • PDF icon Force COG Minutes 26.03.15
    Last updated: 13 July 2016
  • PDF icon Force COG Minutes 23.04.15
    Last updated: 13 July 2016
  • PDF icon Force COG Minutes 21.05.15
    Last updated: 13 July 2016