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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50064698
  • Date: 15 December 2006
  • Public Authority: General Medical Council
  • Summary: The complainant requested details of the complaints histories of six named doctors from the General Medical Council (the “GMC”). The GMC refused this request under section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the basis that it constituted the personal data of the doctors in question and that to release the information would breach the data protection principles. It further argued that it would also breach their human rights and therefore a statutory prohibition applied under section 44 of the Act. During the course of the investigation the GMC also submitted that it owed a duty of confidence to the doctors involved and that, as a result, an exemption under section 41 of the Act applied. It also submitted that a section 31 exemption may be applicable as disclosure of the requested information could harm the GMC’s ability to effectively regulate doctors. Having considered both parties submissions and conducted a thorough investigation, the Commissioner found that the exemption under section 40 of the Act was applicable and that the GMC had therefore been right to withhold the information.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]