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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50074788
  • Date: 27 February 2007
  • Public Authority: Northern Ireland Office
  • Summary: The Information Commissioner’s (the Commissioner) decision in this matter is that the Northern Ireland Office (the ‘NIO’) has failed to deal with the complainant’s request in accordance with the requirements of Part I of the Freedom of Information Act (the ‘Act’). That is because the Commissioner considers that the NIO incorrectly applied the section 31(1)(a) exemption to the requested information as a “blanket” exemption to the request. In addition, the NIO failed to provide an adequate refusal notice under section 17 of the Act. Also the NIO failed to provide to the applicant adequate advice and assistance in order to clarify his request in accordance with section 16 of the Act. However, as a result of the intervention of the Commissioner, some of the requested information has now been disclosed. In relation to the remaining information (the ‘withheld information’), the Commissioner is satisfied that the NIO has correctly withheld this information and that it is exempt by virtue of sections 23, 24, 31, 36, 40(2), 41 and 42 of the Act.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]