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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50099274
  • Date: 9 March 2009
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Justice
  • Summary: The complainant requested details of compensation awards made to each of a list of named individuals for miscarriage of justice claims. The public authority refused the request on the basis that sections 40(2) (third party information) and 41 (information provided in confidence) applied as it was personal data and was also held on the understanding that the contents would remain confidential. It further held that section 12 (cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit) applied, as to locate, extract and redact the information in some of the cases would exceed the appropriate limit. The Commissioner finds that in all cases the information requested would be the personal data of either those named individuals or other named parties and that to confirm or deny the information it held would in itself breach the first data protection principle. The public authority should therefore have cited section 40(5)(b)(i) and declined to confirm or deny whether it held any of the requested information. The public authority’s refusal notice did not refer to the sub-section of the exemption claimed. The Commissioner therefore finds that it breached section 17(1)(b) by introducing the relevant sub-section outside the statutory 20 working day period.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]