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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50087181
  • Date: 11 June 2007
  • Public Authority: Office for National Statistics
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from the Authority relating to copy correspondence and/or emails that allegedly passed between various officers employed by the Authority. The request related to events which took place in 2001 and related directly to the boycott of the 2001 Census in Wales by the complainant and the Independent Wales Party. The Authority responded by disclosing a number of internal emails relating to the boycott. The complainant indicated to the Authority that the response was insufficient and further qualified his request. The Authority then refused the request by virtue of section 36 stating that the disclosure of the information would inhibit the “free and frank exchange of views” between officials. The Commissioner sought copies of the withheld information which was provided by the Authority. At this stage it became apparent that the withheld information related to internal communications between the Authority and their legal advisers. The Authority sought to rely on section 42 stating that the information was exempt from disclosure by way of legal privilege. The Commissioner decided, in this case, the authority applied the Act appropriately by refusing the request by virtue of section 42.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]