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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50073980
  • Date: 19 April 2006
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Defence
  • Summary: The complainant requested a copy of the March 2004 edition of the Defence Export Services Organisation (DESO) Directory, but the MOD released only a redacted copy, citing section 21 (information accessible by other means), section 36 (prejudice to the conduct of public affairs), section 38 (health and safety) and section 40 (personal information). After investigating the case the Commissioner is satisfied that the section 36 is engaged but has judged that the public interest in maintaining the section 36 exemption is not strong enough to outweigh the public interest in disclosure. The Commissioner has also decided section 38 has not been correctly applied, and that in the absence of persuasive evidence explaining how disclosure will endanger the health and safety of individuals section 38 is not engaged. Additionally he is satisfied section 21 has been correctly applied to some information, although he can see no basis for the MOD continuing to redact information falling within section 21 in light of his decision requiring disclosure of the remaining information. The Commissioner did not consider the application of section 40 in detail because the MOD considered the strength of its case rested on section 36. The Commissioner therefore requires the MOD to disclose all the information requested by the complainant, other than that which is exempt under section 21 of the Act. The Information Tribunal has ruled on this decision and has dismissed the appeal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]