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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50229521
  • Date: 10 December 2009
  • Public Authority: Home Office
  • Summary: The complainant made two requests for information related to section 12 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants) Act 2004, which abolishes the entitlement of refugees to back payment of benefits. The first request was refused under section 12(1) as the public authority believed that the cost of compliance with the request would exceed the appropriate limit of £600. The second request was refused as the information was believed to be exempt by virtue of section 35(1)(a) (formulation or development of government policy). The Commissioner finds that the public authority estimated the cost of compliance with the first request accurately and so upholds the refusal under section 12(1). In relation to the second request the Commissioner finds that the exemption provided by section 35(1)(a) is engaged, but concludes that the public interest in maintaining the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in disclosure. The public authority is required to disclose the information it holds that falls within the scope of the second request. The Commissioner also finds that the public authority failed to comply with the procedural requirements of sections 1(1)(b), 10(1), 17(1) and 17(5) in its handling of the request. This decision notice is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]