Difference between revisions of "FOIA Section 30 Exemption"

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Revision as of 19:37, 12 July 2008

Section 30: Investigations And Proceedings Conducted By Public Authorities

Section 30 is concerned primarily with preserving the integrity of certain proceedings and investigations which public authorities have the power or duty to conduct. There are two ways in which the application of section 30 may be triggered:

1. where information has at any time been held for the purpose of specified criminal and other investigations or proceedings; and
2. where information relates to the obtaining of information from confidential sources and was obtained or recorded for a number of specified investigations or proceedings.

Key points:

  • Section 30 can only be relied on by an authority which itself exercises one of the investigation or litigation functions that are specified in the exemption.
  • Section 30 is quite a complex exemption and Departments will need to be alert to the precise terms in which its two limbs are expressed.
  • Section 30 is subject to a public interest balance.

Full DCA guidance: http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/guidance/exguide/sec30/index.htm

What the law says

30 Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities

(1) Information held by a public authority is exempt information if it has at any time been held by the authority for the purposes of—
(a) any investigation which the public authority has a duty to conduct with a view to it being ascertained—
(i) whether a person should be charged with an offence, or
(ii) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it,
(b) any investigation which is conducted by the authority and in the circumstances may lead to a decision by the authority to institute criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct, or
(c) any criminal proceedings which the authority has power to conduct.

Decision Notices