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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50194621
  • Date: 4 February 2010
  • Public Authority: Ministry of Defence
  • Summary: The complainant made a request to the Ministry of Defence for several reports relating to the safety of nuclear weapons. The public authority responded to the request by disclosing redacted versions of the reports. Information was withheld under the exemptions in section 24(1) (National security), section 26(1)(a) and (b) (Defence), section 27(1)(a) (International relations) and section 36(2)(b)(i) (Free and frank provision of advice). The Commissioner has investigated the complaint and has found that the exemptions are engaged and that for most of the information the public interest in maintaining each exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. However the Commissioner found that for some information withheld under section 36(2)(b)(i) the public interest in maintaining the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure. The Commissioner now requires this information to be made available to the complainant within 35 calendar days of the date of this notice. The Commissioner found that in its handling of the complainant’s request the public authority breached section 1(1)(b) (General right of access), section 10(1) (Time for compliance), section 17(1)(c) and 17(3) (Refusal of request). This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]