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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50135538
  • Date: 26 November 2007
  • Public Authority: Home Office
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from the public authority regarding a staff transfer which occurred in December 2004. The public authority provided some information, but withheld some of the information on the grounds that it was covered by the section 42 legal professional privilege exemption. Some information within the scope of the request was initially withheld but was released when the public authority conducted its internal review. The complainant alleged that the public authority had misapplied the section 42 exemption and that the public authority held more information relevant to his request than had been disclosed or deemed exempt. The Commissioner’s decision is that in failing to supply some information within the scope of the request within the original response the public authority breached section 10 of the Act. However, he is satisfied that no further information was held that was within the scope of the request at that time. It has been subsequently clarified that the Home Office now holds additional information which was only created after the request was received. The complainant has been advised that if wishes to access that information he would need to make a further request. The Commissioner has also concluded that the public authority misapplied the exemption in section 42 to a limited amount of the withheld information. This is on the basis that the information did not constitute a communication between a client and a legal advisor for the dominant purpose of seeking or providing legal advice. However, in relation to the remainder of the withheld information he has decided that the public authority appropriately cited section 42 and that the public authority was not obliged to comply with section 1(1)(b) in relation to that information.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]