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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0155651
  • Date: 2 October 2007
  • Public Authority: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council
  • Summary: The complainant made two requests for information in relation to a planning dispute with his neighbour. The Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority has provided all the information it holds on the following elements of the requests: a letter from the public authority to the Local Government Ombudsman (the LGO); an internal memorandum; an alleged tape recording; and an alleged threat against the complainant’s neighbour. However, the letter to the LGO, the internal memorandum and the information on the alleged threat were not provided within 20 working days. The public authority initially informed the complainant that it was withholding a second memorandum under section 42 of the Freedom of Information Act. The Commissioner has considered that this request should have been dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (the EIR) and that regulation 12(5)(b) can be applied to withhold the information. Due to the similarities between this exception and section 42 of the Act, the Commissioner does not require the public authority to inform the complainant of the specific reason for withholding the information under the EIR. The Commissioner has found that the remaining elements of the requests should have been dealt with as a subject access request under the Data Protection Act and the public authority has subsequently written to the complainant in response to that subject access request. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]