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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50081525
  • Date: 22 May 2007
  • Public Authority: HM Treasury
  • Summary: The complainant requested copies of copies of any legal opinions and other communications held by Her Majesty’s Treasury regarding the compatibility of the Financial Services and Markets Bill with the Human Rights Act. The request was initially refused under sections 35(1)(b) (ministerial communications), 35(3) (refusal to confirm or deny the holding of Law Officers’ advice) and 42(1) (legal professional privilege). The public authority subsequently sought to rely, in addition, on sections 35(1)(a) (formulation of government policy) and 41 (information provided in confidence). Following discussions with the complainant, the Commissioner was able to narrow the scope of his investigation to a consideration of the application of sections 35(3) and 42(1). The Commissioner has concluded that section 35(3) was not applicable and that the public authority should disclose to the complainant whether it holds Law Officers’ advice in relation to the subject matter of the complainant’s request. In relation to section 42(1), the Commissioner has decided that this exemption was correctly applied. In addition, he has determined that the public authority breached section 17(1), as it failed to state in its refusal notice that sections 35(1)(a) and 41 were applicable to some of the requested information. Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2007/0054 has been dismissed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]