3 April 2017, Central government
The complainant requested information relating to the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information (the Commission). The Cabinet Office denied holding information for one part of the complainant’s request. For the other requests, it refused to disclose the relevant information because it was third party personal data under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act). During the Commissioner’s investigation, the Cabinet Office denied holding information for another part of the request, and for the others cited further exemptions: Section 35(1)(a) – for the information in its entirety; Section 35(1)(b) – for the specific correspondence which was communication between ministers; Section 36(2)(c) – should the Commissioner find that section 35 did not apply; Section 41(1) – for the correspondence concerning Jack Straw MP. The Commissioner’s decision is that on the balance of probabilities the Cabinet Office does not hold information relating to contact with the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties regarding the setting up of the Commission, or views or correspondence on the suitability of Jack Straw MP and Lord Carlisle. The Commissioner’s decision regarding section 35(1)(a) is that the exemption is engaged for the information in its entirety, and that the balance of the public interest test favours maintaining the exemption. The Cabinet Office breached section 17(1) by citing additional exemptions late. As the complainant has been informed of these new exemptions the Commissioner does not require the Cabinet Office to correspondence further on this. No steps are required.
Not upheldFOI 17: