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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50125204
  • Date: 25 June 2008
  • Public Authority: London Borough of Hounslow
  • Summary: The complainants requested the Council to release the names and contact details of all staff at the Council, including the department in which they work and their head of department. The Council considered the request and refused to disclose the requested information citing sections 31, 36 and 40 of the Act. The Commissioner first considered the Council’s application of section 36 of the Act. He concluded that the disclosure of the names and contact details of all staff would, or would be likely to, prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs. He also concluded that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing this information. In respect of the department in which each member of staff works, the Commissioner reached the decision that this information becomes meaningless without the name of each staff member to which it relates. As he concluded that the names of staff should not be disclosed, he decided not to consider this aspect of the complainants’ request any further. Regarding the name of head of each department, the Commissioner decided that section 31 of the Act did not apply. Concerning the Council’s application of section 40, the Commissioner concluded that the name of head of each department is personal data. However, he reached the view that disclosure would not contravene the Data Protection Act and therefore that this information should be released to the complainants within 35 days of this Notice. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]