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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50146907
  • Date: 23 March 2010
  • Public Authority: The Treasury Solicitor's Department (TSOL)
  • Summary: The complainant sought the identities, contact details, areas of work, branch of profession and date of qualification of all lawyers in the Treasury Solicitor’s Department (TSol), together with details of whether or not those lawyers were practising professionals subject to post qualification educational requirements. TSol refused the request under section 21 of the Act as it stated that some of the information was accessible to the applicant by other means. TSol withheld the remaining information under section 36(2)(c) of the Act. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation TSol also claimed reliance on section 40(2). The Commissioner found that TSol had incorrectly applied section 21 of the Act as it did not provide a precise link or other direct reference to the information and so the information was not reasonably accessible to the complainant. The Commissioner found that section 36(2)(c) was engaged but decided that the public interest in maintaining the exemption did not outweigh the public interest in favour of disclosing of the information. The Commissioner considered section 40(2) and decided that the disclosure of the information would not be unfair or unlawful and would not therefore breach the data protection principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). Therefore the Commissioner found that the withheld information should be disclosed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]