The complainant has requested information relating to outsourcing arrangements between Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council (the ‘council’) and BT. The council refused the request under the exemption for prejudice to commercial interests (section 43(2) of the FOIA). During the Commissioner’s investigation the council revised its position, citing section 12 of the FOIA and confirming that the request was being refused on cost grounds. The Commissioner’s decision is that Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council: Correctly applied section 12(2) to refuse the request; failed to comply with the duty to provide advice and assistance under section 16(1) of the FOIA at the time of the request. The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any steps.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 12 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 16 – Complaint Upheld
 UKICO FS50511186
England and Wales
Updated: 05 December 2021; Ref: scu.527510