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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50108240
  • Date: 29 November 2007
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Justice
  • Summary: The complainant requested from the Department of Constitutional Affairs (now the Ministry of Justice) information about Arnos Vale Cemetery and related organisations and people. Much of the information held in relation to the request was disclosed to the complainant with the remaining information withheld under several exemptions. Following the intervention of the Commissioner, the Department agreed to release a large amount of the remaining information. However, it informed the Commissioner that some of the requested information remained exempt from disclosure under section 40 (Personal information) and section 42 (Legal professional privilege). It also informed him that several additional documents that fell within the scope of the request had subsequently been discovered, to which no exemptions apply. The Commissioner has decided that section 40 was engaged in relation to some of the withheld information and that section 42 was appropriately applied. He proceeded to conclude that all the information to which an exemption does not apply should be disclosed to the complainant (including the newly found information), aside from some information withheld under section 40 which he considers to be exempt under section 41 (Information provided in confidence). However, the Commissioner’s analysis of elements of the Department’s handling of the request has lead him to also conclude that section 10 (Time for compliance with request) and section 17 (Refusal of request) of the Act had been breached. He has also decided that section 43(2) (Commercial interests), which was applied to some information in response to the request but no longer relied upon due to the intervening passage of time, was incorrectly relied upon in the first instance to withhold that information.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]