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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50078412
  • Date: 20 October 2009
  • Public Authority: Scotland Office
  • Summary: The complainant made a freedom of information request to the Scotland Office for information related to the Sewel Convention (the convention that the UK Government would not normally legislate in Scotland regarding devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament). The public authority initially refused the request by relying on the exemptions in section 35(1)(a) (Formulation and development of government policy), section 35(1)(b) (Ministerial communications) and section 42(1) (Legal professional privilege) of the Act. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the public authority disclosed to the complainant some of the information falling within the scope of the request. In respect of the remaining undisclosed information the Commissioner has found that for the most part the exemptions were correctly applied by the public authority. However, the Commissioner has decided that some information was not exempt by virtue of any of the exemptions cited by the public authority or that the public interest favoured disclosure. The Commissioner requires that this information be disclosed to the complainant within 35 calendar days of the date of this notice. By failing to make this information available to the complainant at the time of the request the Commissioner found that the public authority also breached section 1(1)(b) (General right of access to information held by public authorities) and section 10(1) (Time for compliance with request).
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]