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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50145322
  • Date: 19 December 2007
  • Public Authority: Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Police
  • Summary: The complainant is seeking information that he asserts was provided to third parties in relation to cases that he was involved in during the 1970s and 1980s and which he believes is held by West Yorkshire Police. The Commissioner understands that these cases related to a number of employment issues and an allegation of theft. The public authority provided some information to the complainant and denied holding anything else of relevance. It explained to him that it was likely that any information held would have been destroyed. The complainant does not accept that the police destroyed the information and has corresponded with the police about this matter over a number of years. Contained in his correspondence are a number of subsequent requests which have been made to challenge the police’s position. The Commissioner has determined that the public authority was not obliged to confirm or deny whether it held information by virtue of section 40(5). This is on the basis that, if held, the information would constitute the complainant’s personal data and would be exempt under section 40(1). In failing to advise the complainant of this or to respond within the twenty working day timescale the public authority failed to comply with the requirements of section 17(1). The Commissioner considers that the public authority should have treated the request as a subject access request under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. He will now go on to make a separate assessment under section 42 of that Act. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]