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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50143525
  • Date: 2 March 2010
  • Public Authority: Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Summary: The complainant submitted a number of requests to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) which focused on correspondence which the DCMS may have exchanged with HRH The Prince of Wales and representatives of His Royal Highness. The DCMS initially refused to confirm or deny whether it held information falling within the scope of the requests on the basis of section 37(2) of the Act – communications with the Royal Household. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the DCMS dropped its reliance on section 37(2) and confirmed to the complainant that it did hold information falling within the scope of his requests, albeit that it could not provide the information because to do so would exceed the appropriate cost limit at section 12(1) of the Act. The Commissioner has concluded that some of the information which would fall within the scope of the complainant’s requests is environmental information as defined by the EIR. However, the Commissioner is satisfied that the DCMS is entitled to refuse to provide this environmental information because the requests are manifestly unreasonable. With regard to the non-environmental information the Commissioner is satisfied that to provide this information would exceed the cost limit at section 12(1). However, the Commissioner has concluded that the DCMS failed to provide the complainant with sufficient advice and assistance to that he could submit a refined request that could be fulfilled within the cost limit. The Commissioner has ordered the DCMS to provide this advice.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]