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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50100671
  • Date: 8 December 2009
  • Public Authority: Home Office
  • Summary: In February 2005, the complainant requested a copy of “the report on which the Government recently based their view not to change to the law to permit intercept evidence”. The public authority refused to provide it citing the exemptions at Section 23 (Information from or relating to Security Bodies), Section 24 (National Security), Section 31 (Prejudice to Law Enforcement) and Section 36 (Prejudice to Effective Conduct of Public Affairs). It upheld this position on review and cited the exemptions at Section 35 (Formulation of Government Policy) and Section 42 (Legal Professional Privilege) as further reasons for refusing to disclose the requested information. Having investigated the matter, the Commissioner is satisfied that most of the information is exempt by virtue of Section 23(1). He is also satisfied that the remainder of the information is exempt under section 35(1)(a) and that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. However, he found that the public authority contravened some of the provisions of section 17 when it failed to explain in a timely manner why it sought to rely on section 35(1)(a) as a basis for withholding the report.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]