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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50085775
  • Date: 29 October 2007
  • Public Authority: Scotland Office
  • Summary: The complainant asked the public authority for information about proposals to establish a dedicated Gaelic television channel. The public authority withheld the information citing the exemptions in sections 21(1), 35(1)(a), (b) and (c), 40(2)(a), 41(1)(a) and (b), and 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). Following an internal review it released some information on the grounds that the public interest now favoured disclosure. The Commissioner decided that, in explaining the public interest test, the public authority had breached section 17(3) by: failing to explain how the general factors identified applied to the specific information requested in this case; inadequately weighing up against each other the factors in favour and against disclosure; and applying an incorrect balance test. Finally, the Commissioner decided that, while some of the withheld information was exempt, the Scotland Office had inappropriately withheld other parts of it by reference to sections 35, 40, 41 and 43, and that this amounted to a breach of section1(1). The Commissioner required the Scotland Office to disclose the information unjustifiably withheld. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]