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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50205219
  • Date: 25 November 2009
  • Public Authority: Department for Work and Pensions
  • Summary: In January 2008 the complainant made a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act (“the Act”). The public authority responded by confirming that it held the information but stating that it was exempt under section 35(1)(a) (formulation of government policy). It maintained this at internal review. During the Commissioner’s investigation the public authority also sought to include the exemption at section 40(2) (personal information) in respect of staff named within the withheld information. This was not contested by the complainant so is not further considered. The Commissioner finds that the exemption at section 35(1)(a) is engaged but that the public interest in maintaining the exemption does not outweigh that in disclosure. The complaint is upheld. The public authority’s handling of the request also resulted in breaches of certain procedural requirements of the Act as identified in this Notice. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: .pdf