FOIA Section 43 Exemption
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Section 43: Commercial Interests
Section 43 exempts information whose disclosure would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person. It also includes a specific exemption for trade secrets.
- Section 43 protects not only the commercial interests of third parties but also the commercial interests of the public authority that holds the information;
- Public authorities will need to bear in mind that the commercial sensitivity (particularly the market sensitivity) of information will usually decrease with time;
- Section 43 is subject to the public interest test.
- Ministry of Justice guidance: Section 43: commercial interests
- ICO guidance: Awareness Guidance 5 - Commercial interest
- ICO guidance: Awareness guidance 5 annexe - public sector contracts
- ICO guidance: Awareness guidance 20 - prejudice and adverse affect
What the law says
43 Commercial interests
- (1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.
- (2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).
- (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 the interests mentioned in subsection (2).
- Exeter City Council, August 2006
- The Council was ruled to have invalidly claimed a s43 exemption by refusing to disclose commercial details relating to a land transfer.
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