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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0151857
  • Date: 7 December 2009
  • Public Authority: Department of the Environment (NI)
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from the Department of the Environment (the DoE) relating to an ongoing dispute between himself and the public authority. The DoE provided the complainant with some information, but advised that some information was exempt under section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act (the Act). The DoE claimed it did not hold any further information relevant to the request. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the DoE reconsidered the request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the EIR), and argued that the withheld information was in fact exempt under regulation 12(4)(e) of the EIR, The DoE later revised this to claim that the information was exempt under regulation 12(5)(b) of the EIR. The Commissioner’s decision in this case is that the DoE acted correctly when it considered the request under the EIR. However, the Commissioner is satisfied that the withheld information comprises personal data relating to the complainant, and as such it is exempt under regulation 5(3) of the EIR. Therefore the Commissioner finds that the DoE failed to apply the correct exception to the withheld information. The Commissioner also finds that the DoE did provide the complainant with all the non-exempt information it holds. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]