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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50166599
  • Date: 19 February 2008
  • Public Authority: Home Office
  • Summary: The complainant asked the Home Office for information relating to work permits issued to employers. The Home Office confirmed that they were refusing to provide the information because it was not held in the required format. They qualified that, in order to comply with the request, they would need to create the information, something they were not required to do by the Act. In addition the Home Office confirmed that, in this case, the actions they would need to take to produce the information would place a “disproportionate strain on resources”. The Commissioner found that the requested information was recorded in an electronic database and that, in order to locate, retrieve and extract this, the Home Office would need to write and run a report. The Commissioner does not accept that the level of difficulty involved in performing these activities has a bearing on the question of whether information is or is not held by a public authority. His decision was that the information requested is held by the Home Office and that in failing to either provide it or provide alternative reasons under the Act for not doing so, they breached section 1. Also, the Commissioner found that, in failing to provide a proper reason for refusing the request, the Home Office breached section 17(1) of the Act. The Commissioner required the Home Office to either provide the complainant with the requested information or provide valid reasons for not doing this. Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2008/0027 has been dismissed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]