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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50202562
  • Date: 17 November 2009
  • Public Authority: Liverpool Womens NHS Foundation Trust
  • Summary: The complainant made a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “Act”) to the Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust (the “Trust”) for the text of any compromise agreements it had entered into with doctors and a list of exploratory or illustratory issues which were covered by the compromise agreements. Furthermore the complainant asked the Trust to provide him with its policy on free speech and the use of gag clauses. The Trust explained that it did not hold this information but provided advice and assistance as to similar information that it did hold. In relation to the remainder of the request it confirmed that the information was held but the Trust refused to disclose this information as it stated that it was exempt from disclosure by virtue of sections 41 and section 40(2) of the Act. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the Trust withdrew its application of the exemption contained at section 41 of the Act. The text of the compromise agreements was disclosed to the complainant in a redacted format. Furthermore the list of exploratory or illustratory issues covered by the compromise agreements was also disclosed to the complainant during the Commissioner’s investigation. The Commissioner has reviewed the remaining withheld information and considers that the Trust correctly applied section 40(2) in order to redact this information from the text of the compromise agreements. However the Commissioner considers that the Trust breached sections 1(1)(b), 10(1) and 17(1)(b) and (c) in its handling of the request. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]