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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50197511
  • Date: 19 October 2009
  • Public Authority: Home Office
  • Summary: The complainant wrote to the Identity and Passport Service, an executive agency of the Home Office, requesting to know the number of possible ways to compromise the integrity or security of the proposed National Identity Scheme. The Home Office responded that it did not hold the information. The Commissioner does not accept the Home Office’s argument that the number requested by the complainant is not held. Having considered whether or not complying with the request goes beyond a reasonable exercise of judgement, in his view it is not plausible to maintain that no information within the scope of the request is held by the Identity and Passport Service. However, the Commissioner finds that, in this case, even if the scope was reduced, the retrieval exercise that would be required to comply with the request would lead to the cost exemption being engaged. By claiming that it did not hold the information requested, the Commissioner finds the Home Office breached section 1(1)(a) of the Act. The Home Office also committed procedural breaches of the legislation under sections 10(1) and 16(1) in its handling of the request.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]