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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50180545
  • Date: 15 October 2008
  • Public Authority: National Audit Office
  • Summary: The complainant submitted a series of requests to the National Audit Office (NAO) which were mainly focused on the origins of various figures contained in a value for money report into stroke care produced by the NAO. The complainant alleged that the NAO failed to respond to a number of these requests within 20 working days and that not all of the information falling within the scope of his requests was disclosed. The Commissioner has concluded that the NAO did not in fact hold any further information covered by the scope of most, but not all, of the requests. With regard the information that the Commissioner has established the NAO does hold but did not initially disclose to the complainant, the Commissioner has concluded that the NAO breached sections 1(1)(b) and 10(1) of the Act by failing to disclose this information within 20 working days of receiving the requests. With regard to the requests where the Commissioner has concluded that the NAO does not hold any information, the NAO breached section 1(1)(a) and 10(1) of the Act by failing to confirm or deny within 20 working days whether it held the information requested. During the course of this investigation the NAO argued that the further information which had been identified (a set of internal memos) was exempt from disclosure on the basis of section 33. The Commissioner does not accept that section 33 is engaged in respect of the internal memos; however, during the closing stages of the Commissioner’s investigation the NAO provided this information to the complainant. In failing to provide the complainant with this information within 20 workings, the NAO committed a further breach of sections 1(1)(b) and 10(1) of the Act. The public authority also failed to comply with section 17(1) by failing to provide a refusal notice citing section 33. Information Tribunal appeal number (EA/2008/0089) has been dismissed.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]