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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50133286
  • Date: 28 February 2008
  • Public Authority: Chief Officer of Hertfordshire Constabulary
  • Summary: The complainant’s son died in a traffic incident which occurred on the A1(M) in Hertfordshire in July 2003. Since then he has been in correspondence with the public authority seeking access to information relating to its investigation of this incident. Partial disclosure had been made to him as the father of the deceased (not as a member of the public) but he was dissatisfied with the extent of this disclosure. In July 2006, he requested all information, documentation and reports relating to the circumstances of his son’s death. The public authority refused to provide this information citing Section 40(2) (Unfair Disclosure of Personal Data) and Section 30(1) (Investigations Information) as its basis for doing so. It further argued that the public interest in maintaining the exemption at Section 30(1) outweighed the public interest in disclosure. It upheld this position on review in relation to most of the information but did disclose some information with third party names redacted. The Commissioner has decided that most of the remaining information is exempt by virtue of Section 30(1) and the public interest in maintaining this exemption in relation to that information outweighs the public interest in disclosure. However, the Commissioner has identified some information which should have been disclosed under the Act because the public interest in disclosure in relation to this piece of information outweighs the public interest in maintaining the exemption. In failing to provide this information, the public authority contravened the requirements of Section 1(1(b) of the Act. The Commissioner requires the public authority to disclose it with certain personal details redacted in order to satisfy the requirements of the first data protection principle of the Data Protection Act 1998. The public authority also failed to issue a refusal notice within 20 working days. In failing to do so, it contravened the requirements of Section 17(1) of the Act. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]