Public Interest Test

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Public Interest Test

  • Information that is of "Public Interest", means that it is in the something which serves the interests of the public, not something that might be interesting!
  • The public authority has to decide whether in any particular case it serves the interests of the public better to withhold or to disclose information.
  • The starting point should always be of disclosure to avoid bias
  • They should list all the points in favour of disclosure
  • They should then list all the points against disclosure
  • They should then say where the overall balance lies and give reasons as to why.

http://www.dca.gov.uk/foi/guidance/exintro/chap07.htm http://www.ico.gov.uk/upload/documents/library/freedom_of_information/detailed_specialist_guides/awareness_guidance_3_public_interest_test.pdf

Scottish rules:

EIR rules:

EIR Scotland rules:

Freedom of Information Act 200 - What the law says

2 Effect of the exemptions in Part II
(1) Where any provision of Part II states that the duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to any information, the effect of the provision is that where either—
(a) the provision confers absolute exemption, or
(b) in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exclusion of the duty to confirm or deny outweighs the public interest in disclosing whether the public authority holds the information,

section 1(1)(a) does not apply.

(2) In respect of any information which is exempt information by virtue of any provision of Part II, section 1(1)(b) does not apply if or to the extent that—
(a) the information is exempt information by virtue of a provision conferring absolute exemption, or
(b) in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Freedom of Information Act 2000.