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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50150495
  • Date: 18 December 2008
  • Public Authority: Cabinet Office
  • Summary: The complainant asked the public authority for ‘any JIC [Joint Intelligence Committee] or related reports or documents concerning nuclear weapons and the 1967 and 1973 middle east wars’, particularly whether the ‘JIC looked at the chances that the Six Day War and Yom Kippur War could lead to nuclear exchanges either by the superpowers or strikes by Israel’ and including ‘estimates of capabilities and intentions’. The public authority extended the timescale in order to consider the public interest test, before withholding the information under sections 23(1), 24(1) and 27(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). The Commissioner decided that the public authority had legitimately withheld the requested information under the cited sections. However, he considered that, in failing to confirm within 20 working days that it held the requested information, it had breached section 10(1) of the Act; in failing to cite in its initial refusal notice the exemptions which it subsequently relied upon it had breached section 17(1); and, in considering the public interest test, it had also failed to address the public interest test within a reasonable timescale in breach of section 17(3). It also failed to specify the relevant paragraph of section 27(1) which applied, in breach of section 17(1)(b).
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]