ICO The complainant requested information relating to the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) press relations with the Disability News Service (DNS). The DWP refused to confirm or deny whether information was held, but confirmed that if it was held it would be refused under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) because it would be third party personal data. This in effect is a refusal under section 40(5)(b)(i). The DWP breached section 17(1) because of the failures in its refusal notice. However, the Commissioner does not require any steps to be taken in respect of the section 17(1) breach, as this notice effectively informs the complainant of the change in the DWP’s position. The Commissioner’s decision is that the DWP incorrectly applied section 40(5)(b)(i) in neither confirming nor denying whether the relevant information was held. The DWP provided additional submissions to withhold the held information under section 40(2), and the Commissioner’s decision is that the DWP has correctly applied this exemption for all parties.
FOI 17: Upheld FOI 40: Not upheld
 UKICO FS50589886
England and Wales
Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.569101