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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50109031
  • Date: 14 June 2007
  • Public Authority: South Warwickshire NHS Trust
  • Summary: The complainant requested an audit report of South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust’s (the “Trust”) finances for 2004-2005. The Trust refused to provide this information and cited the exemption at section 36 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”), stating that the disclosure would prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs, and would inhibit the free and frank provision of advice and the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation. After reviewing the information and considering the case, and the public interest in maintaining this exemption, the Commissioner has decided that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption is outweighed by the public interest in disclosing the information. He therefore decided that the Trust was wrong to withhold the information in question under section 36 of the Act, and, as such, was in breach of section 1 of the Act. He has also decided that the Trust failed to satisfy the requirements of section 17 in that it issued an inadequate refusal notice, when informing the complainant that there would be a delay in it responding to his request due to the consideration of the public interest test. In view of this decision the Commissioner requires the Trust to disclose the requested information to the complainant.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]