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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50122723
  • Date: 19 November 2007
  • Public Authority: Royal Mail
  • Summary: The complainant made a request for several pieces of information to Royal Mail Group PLC (“Royal Mail”). This was treated as a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”). Royal Mail provided some information relating to the request. However it refused to provide a large proportion of the information requested, stating that section 12 applied as it believed that to comply with the request would exceed the appropriate limit. It also withheld some information under section 43(2), stating that it believed that the disclosure of this information would prejudice its commercial interests. During the course of the investigation Royal Mail informed the Commissioner that it did not actually hold the information it had previously cited section 12 in connection with, and that it had cited this section in error. After considering the information provided the Commissioner is satisfied that Royal Mail does not hold this information. However, the Commissioner decided that Royal mail had not acted in compliance with section 1 of the Act, as it had failed to inform the complainant that it did not hold the information it had previously cited section 12 for. Therefore the Commissioner decided that it had failed in its duty to confirm or deny whether it held the information in question. In relation to the information withheld under section 43 the Commissioner decided that the exemption was engaged in that the disclosure of the information would, or would be likely to, prejudice Royal Mail’s commercial interests. However after considering the circumstances of the case the Commissioner decided that the public interest in maintaining the exemption did not outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information. Therefore the Commissioner requires this information to be disclosed. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]