Our ref: FS50320566
Dear Mr Moss,
Freedom of Information Act 2000
I write in connection with your complaint concerning your information request to the Home Office. This case has been allocated to me for investigation and in this email I will set out my understanding of the background to your complaint and how this case will be progressed.
Your request was made on 6 January 2010 and was worded as follows:
“Please provide a copy of the detailed report of the competitive trials developed and run by IBM [that tested the speed, accuracy and cost of multibiometric facial and fingerprint recognition technology developed by Sagem Sécurité] so that the public can assess for themselves the reliability of the technology.”
After a delay the Home Office responded substantively to this request on 17 March 2010. Your request was refused, with the Home Office citing the exemptions provided by the following sections of the Act: 31(1)(a) (prejudice to prevention or detection of crime), 31(1)(e) (prejudice to the operation of the immigration controls), 41(1) (information provided in confidence) and 43(2) (prejudice to commercial interests). This refusal was later upheld at internal review.
I have contacted the Home Office for further information and explanation about the refusal of your request. Once I have all the details I require, I will draft a Decision Notice, which will set out the conclusion of this case and will specify any steps that it is necessary for the Home Office to take to comply with the Act. I will take into account the arguments that you have advanced in your correspondence both with this office and with the Home Office as to why you believe that the requested information should be disclosed when reaching a conclusion in this case.
I would caution at this stage that the Decision Notice process is lengthy and it is likely to be a matter of months, rather than weeks, from this point prior to this case being resolved. Thank you in anticipation for your patience in the meantime.
Senior Case Officer
Direct dial: XXXXXXXXXX