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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0186717
  • Date: 18 November 2009
  • Public Authority: Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Summary: The complainant wrote to the Department for Communities and Local Government (“the public authority”) to request copies of submissions made by departmental officials to the Secretary of State in respect of a planning application by Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club. In response the public authority disclosed to the complainant redacted copies of the submissions. The redacted information was withheld under regulation 12(4)(e) (internal communications) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). At the internal review stage the public authority said that regulation 12(5) (prejudice to the course of justice etc.) also applied to some of the redacted information. The Commissioner has investigated the public authority’s handling of the request and has found that, with two minor exceptions, the information was correctly withheld under regulations 12(5)(b) and 12(4)(e). In addition the Commissioner has found that the names of officials featured in the submissions are covered by the exception in regulation 13 (personal information). However, the Commissioner also found that in its handling of the request the public authority committed several procedural breaches of the EIR. The Commissioner requires the public authority to provide to the complainant the two redacted pieces of information which the public authority now acknowledges should have been disclosed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]