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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50082255
  • Date: 30 January 2007
  • Public Authority: National Portrait Gallery
  • Summary: The complainant asked the public authority for information about how much it had paid to an artist commissioned to make a video portrait of David Beckham, and who owned the work. The Gallery provided information about ownership but withheld other information, citing the exemptions contained in sections 21 and 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The complainant objected to the withholding of that part of the information to which the Gallery had applied section 43, and after the Commissioner’s intervention the Gallery released that information. The Commissioner has decided that section 43 did not apply at the time of the original request both because the prejudice to the commercial interests of the Gallery was insufficient to engage the exemption and that (even if the exemption had been engaged) the public interest in maintaining the exemption did not outweigh the public interest in disclosure. He has also decided that the Gallery breached section 17(3) of the Act because its refusal notice failed to explain its application of the public interest test. However, since the information has now been released the Commissioner does not require it to take any further action.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]