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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50213780
  • Date: 21 December 2009
  • Public Authority: Coventry City Council
  • Summary: Coventry Law Centre (“CLC”), acting on behalf of the complainant, made an information request for copies of social services files relating to the complainant and her husband, who was deceased. The Council considered that the request for the complainant’s file was a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 (“the DPA”) and it provided this information. However, it refused to provide any of the information held on the complainant’s husband’s file because it considered that this information was exempt under section 41(1) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOIA”). When the Commissioner began investigating, the Council also claimed that section 38(1)(a) was engaged in respect of all of the information and sections 30, 31 and 42(1) in respect of some of the information. The Commissioner found that a significant amount of the information was actually the complainant’s personal data and was therefore exempt under section 40(1) of the FOIA. In respect of the remaining information, the Commissioner found that section 41(1) had been correctly applied. He also found that the Council had breached section 10(1), 17(1) and 17(1)(c). The Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]