FOIA Section 28 Exemption

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Section 28: Relations Within The United Kingdom

Section 28 applies to information whose disclosure would be likely to prejudice relations between two or more administrations in the United Kingdom. The relevant administrations are: the government of the United Kingdom, the Scottish Administration, the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the National Assembly for Wales.

Key points:

  • Where necessary, regard should be had to the Memorandum of Understanding which has been agreed with the four administrations and which includes safeguards to ensure that information shared between administrations is appropriately protected;
  • Departments should be alive to the need to consult the other administration(s) concerned when determining whether section 28 applies, and in particular to be aware that separate freedom of information legislation applies in Scotland;
  • Section 28 is subject to a public interest balance.


What the law says

28 Relations within the United Kingdom

(1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice relations between any administration in the United Kingdom and any other such administration.
(2) In subsection (1) “administration in the United Kingdom” means—
(a) the government of the United Kingdom,
(b) the Scottish Administration,
(c) the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly, or
(d) the National Assembly for Wales.
(3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1).

Decision Notices

tbc