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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50197952
  • Date: 28 January 2010
  • Public Authority: Cabinet Office
  • Summary: The complainant asked the Cabinet Office for information relating to an undertaking given by Michael, now Lord Ashcroft in March 2000 concerning his intention to take up permanent residence in the United Kingdom on taking his seat in the House of Lords. The complainant specified the information he wanted to have, namely, the form in which the undertaking was given and identity of the person to whom it was given. The public authority confirmed that it held the information the complainant requested but determined that it should be withheld in reliance of the exemptions contained in sections 37(1)(b), 40(2) and 41 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). The Commissioner has decided that the Cabinet Office was wrong to rely on the exemptions provided by sections 37(1)(b), 40(2), 40(4) and 41 in order to withhold the requested information. In consequence of this, the Commissioner finds that the Cabinet office breached section 1(1)(b) of the Act. The Commissioner requires the Cabinet Office to disclose the information which it has improperly withheld. The Commissioner has also decided that the Cabinet Office breached of section 17(1) of the Act by failing to provide a refusal notice to the complainant, citing the exemptions on which it was relying, within the time for complying with a request.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]