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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50104994
  • Date: 29 November 2006
  • Public Authority: HM Treasury
  • Summary: The complainant submitted a request to Her Majesty’s Treasury for all relevant papers relating to the decision to reduce income tax by one pence in the pound announced in the 1999 Budget. HMT advised that the information was refused by virtue of section 35(1)(a) of the Act. HMT also concluded that the public interest was not served by releasing the requested information. Having investigated this case the Commissioner is not satisfied that HMT dealt with the request in accordance with the Act. The Commissioner finds that HMT failed to respond to the request within the timescales provided by the Act and failed to provide appropriate advice and assistance to the complainant. The Commissioner also found that the refusal notice given to the complainant was less helpful than he would hope is generally the case, although he notes that in this instance the complainant does not appear to have been disadvantaged as a result. The Commissioner is particularly critical of the fact that the public authority gave the impression to the applicant that significantly more information was held than was the case. The Commissioner finds, moreover, that although HMT was correct to regard the requested information as falling within the terms of the exemption at section 35(1)(a) of the Act, he does not consider that the public interest favoured the maintenance of the exemption. The Information Tribunal has ruled on this decision and has upheld this appeal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]