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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50144708
  • Date: 17 March 2009
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Justice
  • Summary: The complainant made a request for copies of the internal review reports relating to six named offenders who had been charged with a serious further offence while under the supervision of the Probation Service. The public authority declined to provide the information, citing the third party personal data exemption in section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). Following its internal review, the public authority also claimed the exemptions in sections 21, 38(1)(a) and 31(1)(a) and (c). After considering the case, the Commissioner has upheld the public authority’s decision to withhold the information as exempt under section 40. The Commissioner has therefore not considered the other exemptions cited by the public authority. However, the Commissioner has taken the view that the public authority did not deal with the request for information in accordance with the Act, since it failed to specify at least by the internal review stage the appropriate sub-section of section 40 (ie section 40(2) rather than 40(3)) which applied to the withheld information, in breach of its obligations under section 17(1)(b). The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any further steps in relation to the complainant’s request.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]