The request was for minutes of senior management meetings at the DfES relating to the setting of school budgets in England between June 2002 and June 2003. Although some information was provided the majority of the information requested was withheld under section 35(1)(a), on the basis that the information related to the formulation and development of government policy. During the investigation the DfES also claimed that one particular minute related to Ministerial communications and so was exempt under section 35(1)(b) and that the identities of civil servants involved in the meetings were exempt under section 40(2) – personal information. Although the Commissioner accepted that the section 35 did apply to the majority of the information, the exemption could not be maintained in the public interest. Similarly the exemption provided by section 35(1)(b) could not be maintained in the public interest. The Commissioner decided section 40 was not engaged. The Information Tribunal has ruled on this decision and has dismissed this appeal.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 35 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Upheld
 UKICO FS50074589
England and Wales
Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.533341