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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50148975
  • Date: 16 June 2009
  • Public Authority: Metropolitan Police Service
  • Summary: The complainant requested information relating to an incident in which the Metropolitan Police Service conveyed the passport belonging to Cherie Blair, the Prime Minister’s wife, from 10 Downing Street to Heathrow Airport. To begin with, the Metropolitan Police Service incorrectly dealt with the request outside of the Act. It subsequently refused the request on the basis of the exemptions at sections 24 (National Security), 31 (Law Enforcement) and 38 (Health and Safety). Following the Commissioner’s intervention, the Metropolitan Police Service accepted that these exemptions do not apply to the information falling within the scope of the request and that they were cited in error. During the course of his investigation, the Metropolitan Police advised the Commissioner that no recorded information within the scope of the request was held. Subsequently, it advised the Commissioner that a limited amount of recorded information had belatedly been located. In failing to identify and disclose recorded information that was held at the time of the request the Commissioner finds the Metropolitan Police Service did not comply with its obligations under sections 1(1)(b) and 10(1) of the Act. In failing to confirm within 20 working days that it held recorded information within the scope of the request, the Metropolitan Police Service is in breach of section 1(1)(a) and section 10(1) of the Act. In issuing a defective refusal notice, the Metropolitan Police Service breached section 17(1) of the Act and in failing to specify the relevant sub-sections it breached section 17(1)(b). As the information has now been disclosed to the complainant, the Commissioner does not require any steps to be taken.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]