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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50141015
  • Date: 17 November 2008
  • Public Authority: Department for Work and Pensions
  • Summary: The complainant requested information from the Department for Work and Pensions (“DWP”) as to whether there were any compliments or complaints recorded about a doctor employed by a third party. The DWP initially stated that it held no such information and later added that even if it were held by the third party on their behalf it would be exempt from disclosure by section 40(5) of the Act. The Commissioner finds that due to the contractual relationship between the DWP and the third party any relevant “complaints” (but not “compliment”) information held by the third party, if it existed, would be held by them on behalf of the DWP, by operation of section 3(2) of the Act. However, in accordance with section 40(5) of the Act, the DWP was correct to neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested information as to do so would contravene data protection principles, but it was in breach of section 1(1)(a) in that it failed to inform the complainant of that.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]