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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0184885
  • Date: 26 October 2009
  • Public Authority: Department of Energy & Climate Change
  • Summary: The Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) commissioned an external consultancy, Hayes McKenzie, to study noise emissions from certain wind farms. The final version of the report was placed in the public domain. The complainant subsequently requested draft versions of the report as well as correspondence discussing these drafts. The Department for the Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) handled this request as the DTI had ceased to exist by this time. BERR refused to disclose this information citing regulation 12(4)(e) (internal communications) of the EIR, and subsequently also applied 12(4)(d) (draft documents). During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which had inherited responsibility for energy policy, disclosed the correspondence about the drafts. The Commissioner has concluded that the three draft reports themselves do not constitute an internal communication and thus are not exempt by virtue of regulation 12(4)(e). Although the Commissioner has concluded that 12(4)(d) is engaged, he has concluded that that the public interest favours disclosing the information. The Commissioner has therefore ordered the DECC to disclose the draft versions of the report.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]