Mr Pattullo requested information from Angus Council (the Council) concerning the closure or merger of schools. The Council withheld this information under the exemptions in section 30(b) and (c) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), on the basis that disclosure would be likely to inhibit free and frank exchanges of views or the provision of advice, or would be likely to otherwise prejudice substantially the effective conduct of public affairs. The Council subsequently identified additional relevant information, some of which was supplied to Mr Pattullo. Following a review, the Council maintained its decision to withhold the information first considered and some of that subsequently identified. Mr Pattullo remained dissatisfied and applied to the Commissioner for a decision.
During the investigation, the Council identified further information that fell within the scope of Mr Pattullo’s request. Some of this was released, whilst the remaining information was withheld in terms of sections 30(b) and (c) of FOISA.
The Commissioner found that, while the Council had correctly applied the exemptions in section 30(b) of FOISA to some of the information withheld from Mr Pattullo, it had misapplied the exemptions in section 30(b) and (c) to other information. The Commissioner therefore required the Council to disclose additional information to Mr Pattullo. In addition, the Commissioner found that the Council had breached section 1(1) of FOISA by failing to identify and supply all relevant and nonexempt information until after the commencement of the Commissioner’s investigation.
 ScotIC 081 – 2009
Updated: 20 November 2021; Ref: scu.434025