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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FAC0070219
  • Date: 7 June 2006
  • Public Authority: Salisbury District Council
  • Summary: On 28 January 2005 the complainant requested a copy of the minutes if a meeting of the council's Southern Area Committee meeting at which alleged breaches of planning laws by the complainant were discussed. The Council provided a copy of the minutes but believed that the complainant in fact required disclosure of a report, mentioned in the minutes, which summaries the case and makes recommendations for possible courses of action. However, the Council refused to release a copy of the report as it considered that the exemptions contained in sections 30(1)(Investigation and Proceedings by a Public Authority), 31 (Law Enforcement) and 42 (Legal Professional Privilege) of the Act applied to the information in question. The Commissioner has decided that, depending on the outcome of the Council's investigation, the information requested either falls within the exemption provided by section 30(1) or that provided by section 31. In relation to section 42, the Commissioner notes that the dominant purpose of the report was to provide legal advice and agrees that the section 42 exemption is engaged. The Commissioner has considered the public interest test and has decided that the public interest in maintaining all of the exemptions outweighs the public interest in disclosing the requested information. The Information Tribunal has ruled on this decision and has upheld this appeal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]