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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50198232
  • Date: 11 February 2010
  • Public Authority: National Audit Office
  • Summary: The complainant made a freedom of information request to the National Audit Office for documents relating to a report it issued into the handling of staff grievances at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The public authority disclosed a quantity of information falling within the scope of the request but refused to disclose additional information by relying on the exemptions section 33(2) (Audit functions), section 36(2)(b)(ii), (Free and frank exchange of views), section 40(2) (Personal information) and section 43(2) (Commercial interests). The Commissioner has investigated the complaint and has found that that the exemptions section 33(2), section 36(2)(b)(ii) and section 40(2) are all engaged. However the Commissioner found that for some of the information withheld under section 33(2) and all of the information withheld under section 36(2)(b)(ii) the public interest in maintaining the exemption did not outweigh the public interest in disclosure. The Commissioner requires the public authority to release this information to the complainant within 35 calendar days of the date of this notice. The Commissioner also found that in its handling of the request the public authority breached section 17(1) and section 17(1)(b) (Refusal of request). This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]