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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50129143
  • Date: 14 July 2008
  • Public Authority: HM Revenue and Customs
  • Summary: The complainant asked the public authority for: a report following an investigation into allegations about a proposed amnesty to United Kingdom tobacco producers; and information about the investigator. The public authority provided information about the investigator but withheld the report, citing sections 31, 40(2) and 40(3)(a)(i), 41 and 44 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). During the Commissioner’s investigation it also identified some information as falling within section 21 of the Act. The Commissioner decided that the public authority had not complied with its obligations under section 1(1) by failing to communicate to the complainant information to which he was entitled, on the mistaken basis that it was exempt from disclosure under sections 31, 40(2) and 40(3)(a)(i), 41 and 44 of the Act. It also acted in breach of section 21 of the Act in failing to advise the complainant that some of the information was already in the public domain. Furthermore, in only disclosing some information to the complainant after he had made a complaint to the Commissioner, the public authority did not comply within the time limit in section 10(1) of the Act, a breach of sections 1(1)(b) and 17(1). The Commissioner required the public authority to disclose the information which it had improperly withheld. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]