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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50208178
  • Date: 29 March 2010
  • Public Authority: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Summary: The complainant asked the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for a letter dating from December 2005 from the then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, to the then Private Secretary to The Queen, Sir Robin Janvrin. The letter concerned Malaysia’s offer to award the Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal (PJM) to British service personnel who served in the Emergency or Confrontation in Malaya between 1957 and 1966. The FCO refused to disclose the requested information citing the exemptions provided by sections 35(1)(a) – formulation and development of government policy; 37(1)(a) – communications with the Royal Family; 37(1)(b) – information relating to the conferring of an honour or dignity; and section 27(1)(a) – international relations. The Commissioner has concluded that the letter, and the report of the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals about the PJM which was enclosed with letter, both fall within the scope of section 37(1)(a) and furthermore the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the requested information.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]