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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50176388
  • Date: 16 February 2009
  • Public Authority: Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
  • Summary: In April 2007 the complainant requested a copy of a report prepared by the Financial Reporting Review Panel for the then Secretary of State for Trade and Industry into the published accounts of the Rover Group. The public authority refused to disclose this report citing sections 31(1)(g) of the Act. This section allows a public authority to withhold information if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the functions listed in section 31(2) of the Act. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation, the public authority confirmed that the functions it believed would be likely to be prejudiced if this report was disclosed were those listed at sections 31(2)(a) to (d). (These functions are: ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law; ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which is improper; ascertaining whether circumstances would justify regulatory action; and ascertaining a person’s fitness or competence in relation to the management of bodies corporate). The Commissioner has concluded that disclosure of the report would be likely to prejudice the public authority’s functions listed at sections 31(2)(a) to (d) and that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. However, in dealing with this request the Commissioner has also concluded that the public authority committed a number of breaches of section 17 of the Act by providing a defective refusal notice. Information Tribunal appeal EA/2009/0016 has been withdrawn.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]