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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50093000
  • Date: 14 July 2008
  • Public Authority: Office of Government Commerce
  • Summary: The complainant requested access to all of the documents held by the Office of Government Commerce with regard to the ministerial direction issued by the Secretary of State for Defence to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence on 30 July 2003, which concerned the order of 20 Hawk jet trainer aircraft. The complainant was provided with a redacted letter from the OGC Chief Executive to the Deputy Prime Minister dated 11 July 2003 (the July letter). The public authority refused to disclose the withheld parts of this letter, initially citing sections 35 and 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and later claiming sections 26 and 29. After a careful evaluation of the requested information, the submissions of the parties and the relevant provisions of the Act, the Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority has not properly applied sections 26 and 35 of the Act. With regard to sections 29 and 43, the Commissioner found that the OGC had correctly applied the exemptions to parts of the information, but that it was in the public interest to partially disclose other parts of the withheld information. The Commissioner has therefore ordered the OGC to disclose to the Complainant a version of the July letter with fewer redactions than applied in the version already disclosed. The Commissioner has also found that the public authority had breached section 17(1) of the Act. Information Tribunal appeal (EA/2008/0068) has been withdrawn.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]