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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50122058
  • Date: 9 July 2008
  • Public Authority: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Summary: The complainant wrote to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to request information about the Minister of Culture’s issuing of a certificate of immunity from listing regarding BorthwickWharf, Deptford. DCMS released much of that which was requested but withheld the remainder under section 36 (Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs) and section 42 (Legal professional privilege) of the Freedom of Information Act. The Commissioner has found that the information requested was environmental information and that the request should have been handled under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). Under the EIR, the Commissioner has decided the following: The information withheld under section 42 is exempt from disclosure under the exception at regulation 12(5)(b) (Course of justice); Apart from the names of officials and third parties, the exception at regulation 12(4)(e) (Internal communications) is engaged in relation to the information withheld under section 36. However, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exception does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure; In relation to the withheld names of officials and third parties, the Commissioner considers that this information is personal data and exempt from disclosure under exception at regulation 13 (Personal data); Several procedural breaches of the legislation under Regulations 5, 11 and 14 were committed by the Department in its handling of the request. The Commissioner therefore requires DCMS to disclose the information withheld from the complainant, subject to the redaction of the names of officials and third parties and the document to which exception 12(5)(b) is engaged. Information Tribunal appeal EA/2008/0065 part allowed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]