UK Police Force turns around FOI requests with CycFreedom

Case StudyOne of the UK's leading Information Management Units within a leading UK Police Service was struggling to meet demand from the ever- increasing requests which were being made under the Freedom of Information Act and other legislation, due to ageing technology.

The organisation was struggling as their existing slow and inefficient Information Management Disclosure system was over 13 years old. They realised that taking an internal route to change their existing system would take several years, and with the latest GDPR legislation, that was too long.

They decided to examine other options to procure a new system which would meet the required timescale, choosing a Cloud- first strategy and using the government G- Cloud framework route for best value.

They carried out an exercise to examine what companies were available on the framework and found Geoff Smith Associates had a Cloud-hosted disclosure solution. GSA is a long-established family- based company who are market leaders in providing specialist software and secure scanning solutions to law enforcement agencies, civil service and in the public and private sector both in the UK and Europe.

The company advocates being a strong partner in digital transformation with the ambition to provide and support both public and private sectors by developing technologies which assist organisations in digitally transforming their services.

The GSA software, CycFreedom, is a complete Disclosure and Information Request Case Management system. GSA has a strong presence in Law Enforcement with half the country using their highly cost-effective solutions.

CycFreedom helps many organisations within the Public and Private sectors to manage the ever-increasing number of requests for information and disclosure they receive, providing valuable savings in both time and money. The solution also helps to ensure requests are dealt with at a consistently high-quality level and within an appropriate time-frame for compliance with current legislation.

The Information Management Unit engaged directly with GSA Technical Director, Dave Blackburn, and quickly established a strong working relationship. Training was conducted on-site at their offices on a 'train the trainer' basis.

In the Autumn of 2018 the organisation went live and the efficiency gains observed have been measurable, allowing them to become a more agile working environment supporting a large number of office relocations.

The solution is now in use right across the organisation for FOI/EIR/Right of Access/Insurance MOU, and also supports the Commissioner's Office around various local and national Governmental type correspondence, Local Delivery Support Services (Correspondence/Record Deletions), Information Audit Unit (Security Incidents), Information and Insight (Statistical Requests). It has been so successful that they wish to grow the solution into other business areas including Complaints.

Following go-live of CycFreedom, the organisation has approached GSA to replace two other legacy solutions. GSA is now delivering a Cloud Security Vetting solution for over 100 in-house vetting staff dealing with recruitment of new officers and staff, contractor vetting, and renewals of existing vetting.


ISO9001 Quality Management System (Accreditation since: 2003 Certificate No 97492020)

ISO27001 Information Security Management System (Accreditation since: 2010 Certificate No 168202020)

ISO14001 Environmental Standard and Social Value (Accreditation since: 2014 Certificate No 216712020)

Cyber Essentials Plus Certificate: Cyber Essentials Accreditation since: 2014. Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation since 2017

NHS Data Security and Protection Toolkit (22/23 Standards Exceeded: Organisation code E5D0H)

GSA operate from a Police Assured Secure Facility (PASF)


GSA Solutions are available to purchase through a number of leading frameworks, including:

  • G-Cloud 13 – Crown Commercial Services
  • Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS 6) – Crown Commercial Services

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