Planning Inspectorate (Decision Notice): ICO 2 Apr 2013

ICO The complainant has requested information about a concluded planning inquiry. The Commissioner’s decision is that no information is held save for that which has previously been made available to the complainant. No further action is required.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FER0474711

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 23 May 2022; Ref: scu.528219

Barnet London Borough Council (Decision Notice): ICO 31 Jul 2013

The complainant made 23 requests to the London Borough of Barnet (the ‘Council’), all of which were refused on the grounds that they were vexatious under section 14(1) of FOIA. The Council reviewed its decision in relation to two of the 23 requests during the investigation and decided that it would be appropriate to provide responses. The Information Commissioner’s decision is that the Council properly applied section 14(1) to the remaining 21 requests. He does not require any steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 14 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50480128

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 22 May 2022; Ref: scu.528409

Intellectual Property Office (Decision Notice): ICO 15 Jul 2010

The complainant requested information that had been withheld from a specified individual. This related to the way that an earlier request had been handled by the public authority and the legal advice that was commissioned. The public authority issued a response and explained that it believed that all the relevant recorded information was exempt by virtue of section 42(1) [legal professional privilege] and that the public interest in maintaining that exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosure. The complainant requested an internal review and the public authority upheld its original decision. The Commissioner has carefully considered this case. He has determined that the information was covered by legal professional advice privilege and he has determined that the public authority was correct that the public interest in maintaining that exemption did outweigh the public interest in disclosure in this case. He has therefore finds that section 42(1) has been applied correctly and upholds the public authority’s position. He requires no remedial steps to be taken in this case.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 42 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2010] UKICO FS50301299

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.531557

Intellectual Property Office (Decision Notice): ICO 6 Jul 2010

The complainant requested relevant recorded information about how the public authority dealt with a request for information in respect of a complaint made by him. He received some information but disputed the application of section 42(1) in respect to the legal advice that had been received. The public authority applied section 42(1) [legal professional privilege] to this information. The Commissioner has decided that this information is the complainant’s personal data and that the public authority should have applied section 40(1) to it and considered the request under the Data Protection Act (the -?DPA’). He will conduct a further assessment under section 42 of the DPA and the result will be communicated to the complainant. He requires no remedial steps to be taken in this case.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2010] UKICO FS50300314

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.531556

West Mercia Police (Decision Notice): ICO 27 Oct 2009

ICO The complainant requested a report commissioned by the police as part of an investigation into a perjury allegation made by him. The public authority refused to either confirm or deny whether it held information falling within the scope of the request and cited the exemptions provided by sections 30(3) (information relating to investigations), 38(2) (endangerment to health and safety) and 40(5)(b)(i) (personal information relating to third parties). The Commissioner finds that any information falling within the scope of the request would be the personal data of the complainant and so the request should have more properly been handled as a subject access request made under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998. The Commissioner also finds that the public authority breached section 17(1)(c) by failing to explain adequately why section 38(2) was believed to be engaged; and section 17(3)(a) by failing to explain the public interest test adequately in relation to sections 30(3) and 38(2).
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2009] UKICO FS50237840

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 20 May 2022; Ref: scu.532263

Regina v Department of Health, Ex Parte Source Informatics Ltd: Admn 28 May 1999

The damage to be shown to found a claim of breach of confidence need only be slight, if real, particularly in the context of personally sensitive materials. The NHS was correct to advise against the supply by pharmacists of anonymised data to outside agencies. This was a use outside the intention of the owner of the confidence, and would be in breach.

Citations:

Times 14-Jun-1999, [1999] EWHC Admin 510

Links:

Bailii

Intellectual Property, Information

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.85218

Regina v Department of Health, Ex Parte Source Informatics Ltd: CA 21 Dec 1999

Where information was given by a patient to the pharmacist, and he took the data, stripping out any possibility of the individual being identified, the duty of confidence which attached to the prescription was not breached by the passing on of the reduced quantity information to a third party who wished to provide a statistical analysis of the prescriptions filled.

Judges:

Lord Justice Simon Brown Lord Justice Aldous And Lord Justice Schiemann

Citations:

Times 18-Jan-2000, [2001] QB 423, [1999] EWCA Civ 3011

Links:

Bailii

Statutes:

Data Protection Act 1998, Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

CitedSeager v Copydex Ltd CA 1967
Mr Seager had invented a patented carpet grip which he manufactured and marketed under the trade mark Klent. There were protracted negotiations between Mr Seager and Copydex over a proposal for Copydex to market the Klent. One of the issues in the . .
CitedMoorgate Tobacco Co Ltd v Philip Morris Ltd (No 2) 1984
The court approved ‘the adaptation of the traditional doctrine of passing off to meet new circumstances involving the deceptive or confusing use of names, descriptive terms or other indicia to persuade purchasers or customers to believe that the . .
CitedCoco v A N Clark (Engineers) Ltd ChD 1968
Requirememts to prove breach of confidence
A claim was made for breach of confidence in respect of technical information whose value was commercial.
Held: Megarry J set out three elements which will normally be required if, apart from contract, a case of breach of confidence is to . .

Cited by:

CitedAxon, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health and Another Admn 23-Jan-2006
A mother sought to challenge guidelines issued by the respondent which would allow doctors to protect the confidentiality of women under 16 who came to them for assistance even though the sexual activities they might engage in would be unlawful.
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property, Health Professions, Information

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.85219

Office of The First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Decision Notice): ICO 16 Jul 2012

ICO The complainant has requested information held by the Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) in relation to the appointment of the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Despite the Commissioner’s intervention OFMDFM has failed to respond fully to the request. The Commissioner requires that OFMDFM respond to the complainant’s request, either by disclosing the requested information or by issuing a refusal notice which includes the outcome of the public interest considerations.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 17 – Complaint Partly Upheld

Citations:

[2012] UKICO FS50443962

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.529655

Office of The First Minister and Deputy First Minister (Decision Notice): ICO 21 Jun 2010

The complainant requested a copy of the Adjustments to the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) for N Ireland 2025 – First Five Year Review which was approved by the Executive Committee of the NI Assembly (the Executive) in April 2008, or a list of the 157 changes which were made to the document when it was published in June 2008. The public authority confirmed that whilst it did not hold a list of the changes, it did hold a copy of the RDS document approved by the Executive but refused to provide it citing section 35(1)(b) of the Act. The Commissioner indicated to the public authority that the withheld information fell within the definition of environmental information under the EIR. However whilst the public authority appreciated the environmental nature of the information contained within the RDS document, it did not regard the focus of the complainant’s request to be environmental. The public authority was therefore content to continue to rely upon the exemption under s35 of the Act to refuse the information. The Commissioner found that the information requested was environmental information and should have been considered under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and, in failing to do so the public authority has breached regulation 5(2) of the EIR. The Commissioner requires the public authority to either provide the information or issue a valid refusal notice that complies with regulation 14 of the EIR within 35 days of the date of this notice.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 5 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2010] UKICO FS50227038

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.531528

Ingenious Media Holdings Plc and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs: SC 19 Oct 2016

The tax payer complained that the Permanent Secretary for Tax had, in an off the record briefing disclosed tax details regarding a film investment scheme. Despite the off the record basis, details were published in a newspaper. His claims had been rejected at first instance and at the court of appeal.
Held: The taxpayer’s appeal succeeded. The approach should have been within the law of confidence. The information provided was confidential. The schemes at issue were of the past, and disclosure could not assist their prevention, and ‘a general desire to foster good relations with the media or to publicise HMRC’s views about elaborate tax avoidance schemes cannot possibly justify a senior or any other official of HMRC discussing the affairs of individual tax payers with journalists.’
‘ It is a cardinal error to suppose that the public law remedies and principles associated with judicial review of the exercise of administrative power, developed by the common law from the ancient prerogative writs, occupy the entire field whenever the party whose conduct is under challenge holds a public position. It is important to emphasise that public bodies are not immune from the ordinary application of the common law, including in this case the law of confidentiality. The common law is multi-faceted and remains the bedrock of the English legal system.’

Judges:

Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson

Citations:

[2016] UKSC 54, [2017] 1 All ER 95, [2016] BTC 41, [2016] WLR(D) 540, [2016] STC 2306, [2016] 1 WLR 4164, [2016] STI 2746, UKSC 2015/0082

Links:

Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary

Statutes:

Commissioners for Revenue and Customs Act 2005 18

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Citing:

At CAIngenious Media Holdings Plc and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Revenue and Customs CA 4-Mar-2015
The claimant sought judicial review of the disclosure, off the record by an officer of the defendant to a journalist, of confidential materials as to their investigation of his involvement in a film investment scheme. The claim had been rejected by . .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, ex parte the National Federation of Self-Employed and Small Businesses Ltd HL 9-Apr-1981
Limitations on HMRC discretion on investigation
The Commissioners had been concerned at tax evasion of up to 1 million pounds a year by casual workers employed in Fleet Street. They agreed with the employers and unions to collect tax in the future, but that they would not pursue those who had . .
CitedRegina v Inland Revenue Commission ex parte Preston; In re Preston HL 1984
Duty of Fairness to taxpayer – Written Assurance
The applicant was assured by the Inland Revenue that it would not raise further inquiries on certain tax affairs if he agreed to forgo interest relief which he had claimed and to pay a certain sum in capital gains tax.
Held: Where the . .
CitedMarcel v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis CA 1992
A writ of subpoena ad duces tecum had been issued requiring the production by the police for use in civil proceedings of documents seized during a criminal fraud investigation. The victim of the fraud needed them to pursue his own civil case.
CitedRe Arrows Ltd No 4 HL 1995
The Court of Appeal had allowed an appeal from the judge who had directed that the transcripts of examinations of a director of an insolvent company under section 236 on the Director of the Serious Fraud Office undertaking that the transcripts would . .
Ar First InstanceIngenious Media Holdings Plc and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v HM Revenue and Customs Admn 25-Oct-2013
Application for judicial review of a decision of the Defendants acting by one of their most senior officials to disclose information relating to the claimants in an ‘off the record’ briefing with two journalists.
Held: The request for judicial . .
CitedW v Egdell CA 1990
The plaintiff was detained in a secure mental hospital, under a hospital order coupled with a restriction order, after pleading guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility. The defendant, a consultant psychiatrist, was engaged . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for The Home Department Ex Parte Simms HL 8-Jul-1999
Ban on Prisoners talking to Journalists unlawful
The two prisoners, serving life sentences for murder, had had their appeals rejected. They continued to protest innocence, and sought to bring their campaigns to public attention through the press, having oral interviews with journalists without . .
CitedMcKennitt and others v Ash and Another QBD 21-Dec-2005
The claimant sought to restrain publication by the defendant of a book recounting very personal events in her life. She claimed privacy and a right of confidence. The defendant argued that there was a public interest in the disclosures.
Held: . .
CitedThe Public Law Project, Regina (on The Application of) v Lord Chancellor SC 13-Jul-2016
Proposed changes to the Legal Aid regulations were challenged as being invalid, for being discriminatory. If regulations are not authorised under statute, they will be invalid, even if they have been approved by resolutions of both Houses under the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Taxes Management, Information, Intellectual Property, Taxes Management, Judicial Review

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.570160

Lamb v Evans: CA 1893

The plaintiff printed and published a multi-lingual European trade directory, engaging the defendants as commission agents to solicit paid entries for the directory. The businessmen could, if they wished, supply wood blocks or other materials from which illustrations could be printed in the directory. The defendants left to work for a rival publication, intending to use the wood blocks and other materials still in their possession to get illustrations printed in the rival publication. There was nothing in their contract which expressly prevented them from doing so.
Held: The injunction, having been granted to restrain breaches of good faith, was upheld.
Lindley LJ said: ‘That suggests this question – which has nothing to do with copyright – What right has any agent to use materials obtained by him in the course of his employment and for his employer against the interest of that employer? I am not aware that he has any such right. Such a use is contrary to the relation which exists between principal and agent. It is contrary to the good faith of the employment, and good faith underlies the whole of an agent’s obligations to his principal. No case, unless it be the one which I will notice presently, can I believe be found which is contrary to the general principle upon which this injunction is framed, viz, that an agent has no right to employ as against his principal materials which that agent has obtained only for his principal and in the course of his agency. They are the property of the principal. The principal has, in my judgment, such an interest in them as entitles him to restrain the agent from the use of them except for the purpose for which they were got.’
Bowen LJ said: ‘Has not the Plaintiff a right to restrain the Defendants from using such blocks and materials or copies as they obtain while they were in the employment of the Plaintiff and for the purposes of their service and work which they had to do, that is to say, which they obtained for the purpose of doing their duty to the Plaintiff? Ought not the Plaintiff be able to restrain them from afterwards using those materials and of those documents in competition with the Plaintiff himself? It is not a question of copyright – that must be kept out of sight altogether – nor is it, on the other hand, a simple question of the absolute property at law in the documents themselves or in the blocks themselves. It is a question of whether the Plaintiff, whatever the property in the documents may be, or whatever the property in the materials may be, has not sufficient special property in them to entitle him to restrain the use of them against him when they had been obtained for his use by his agents in the course of their employment. That depends entirely, I think, upon the terms upon which the employment was constituted through which the fiduciary relation of principal and agent came into existence. I think my Brothers have already during the course of the argument expressed what I fully believe, that there is no distinction between law and equity as regards the law of principal and agent. The common law, it is true, treats the matter from the point of view of an implied contract, and assumes that there is a promise to do that which is part of the bargain, or which can be fairly implied as part of the good faith which is necessary to make the bargain effectual. What is an implied contract or an implied promise in law? It is that promise which the law implies and authorises us to infer in order to give the transaction that effect to the parties must have intended it to have and without which it would be futile.’
Referring to cases where an employee has ‘surreptitiously copied something which came under his hands while he was in the possession of that trust and confidence’, Kay LJ said that the employee ‘has been restrained from communicating that secret to anybody else, and anybody who has obtained that secret from him has also been restrained from using it.’
He agreed, saying that he assumed that the agents would have had notebooks in which they would note down all the information collected from the people they canvassed. He then said: ‘The argument was put most forcibly as I followed it in this form: Why should they not retain these notebooks in their hands, having now left the Plaintiff’s employer, and use them in order to find out the persons abroad with whom they had formally entered into engagements, and to obtain from those advertisers authority to put advertisements of theirs into a rival publication to be published as a rival of the Plaintiff’s book? The answer is a very simple one. All those materials were obtained awhile you, the Defendants, were acting as the Plaintiff’s agents, while you were in that confidential relation to him and for the purpose for which he employed and paid you, viz, of compiling this book of the Plaintiffs, and therefore to allow you to use any of those materials for your own purposes would be allowing you to use them for a purpose for which they were not compiled – you, while you compiled them, being in the position of the Plaintiff’s agent, and there being a confidential relation between you and the Plaintiff. I turn to one of the leading cases on the subject, and I take the language of Lord Justice Turner in his judgment in Morison v Moat: ‘That the Court has exercised jurisdiction in cases of this nature does not, I think, admit of any question. Different grounds have indeed been assigned for the exercise of that jurisdiction. In some cases it has been referred to property, in others to contract, and in others, again, it has been treated as founded upon trust or confidence – meaning, as I conceive, that the Court fastens the obligation on the conscience of the party, and enforces it against him in the same manner as it enforces against a party to whom a benefit is given, the obligation of performing a promise on the faith of which the benefit has been conferred; but upon whatever grounds that jurisdiction is founded, the authorities leave no doubt as to the exercise of it . . The jurisdiction against these Defendants is because these materials which they want to use were obtained by them when they were in the position of agents for the Plaintiff, and, although the Plaintiff might not be able to prevent anybody else in the world from publishing or using such materials as he is trying to prevent these Defendants from using, that would be no answer, because these Defendants, from the position in which they were in, are put under a duty towards the Plaintiff not to make this use of the materials.’

Judges:

Kay LJ, Lindley LJ, Bowen LJ

Citations:

[1893] 1 Ch 218

Citing:

ApprovedPrince Albert v Strange ChD 8-Feb-1849
The Prince sought to restrain publication of otherwise unpublished private etchings and lists of works by Queen Victoria. The etchings appeared to have been removed surreptitiously from or by one Brown. A personal confidence was claimed.
Held: . .
ApprovedMorison v Moat 20-Aug-1851
A servant, Moat, sought to use a secret formula of his employer’s. The plaintiff requested an injunction to restrain use of the formula.
Held: The Vice Chancellor reiterated the principles, as to which he said there was ‘no doubt’, adding: . .

Cited by:

CitedLord Ashburton v Pape CA 1913
Pape’s bankruptcy discharge was opposed by Lord Ashburton. He subpoenaed Brooks, a clerk to Lord Ashburton’s solicitor and obtained privileged letters written by Lord Ashburton to Mr Nocton, which Pape proposed to use. Pape and Brooks had colluded. . .
CitedTchenguiz and Others v Imerman CA 29-Jul-2010
Anticipating a refusal by H to disclose assets in ancillary relief proceedings, W’s brothers wrongfully accessed H’s computers to gather information. The court was asked whether the rule in Hildebrand remained correct. W appealed against an order . .
CitedThe Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd and Others v Meltwater Holding Bv and Others ChD 26-Nov-2010
The claimant newspapers complained of the spidering of the web-sites and redistribution of the materials collected by the defendants to its subscribers. The defendants including the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) denied that they . .
CitedThe Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd and Others v Meltwater Holding Bv and Others CA 27-Jul-2011
The defendant companies provided media monitoring services, automatically searching web-sites for terms of interest. The claimant newspapers operated a licensing system through the first claimant permitting the re-use of the content on its members . .
CitedFairstar Heavy Transport Nv v Adkins and Another CA 19-Jul-2013
The court was asked whether the appellant company was entitled to an order requiring its former Chief Executive Officer, after the termination of his appointment, to give it access to the content of emails relating to its business affairs, and . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Employment, Information

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.270395

Barnet London Borough Council (Decision Notice): ICO 24 Jan 2012

ICO The Commissioner’s decision is that the London Borough of Barnet (the council) has breached section 10(1) of the Act by failing to respond to the complainant’s request promptly or at all, within 20 working days.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2012] UKICO FER0417505

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.529035

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (Decision Notice): ICO 12 Dec 2013

ICO The complainant has requested information from VOSA in relation to investigations and actions taken by VOSA following his complaint to it about a public transport vehicle being used which he believed to be in an unroadworthy condition. VOSA failed to deal with his request within the statutory time limits and did not provide a response to the request until requested to do so by the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner’s decision is that VOSA has failed to provide a response to the request within the statutory time frame of 20 working days. He upholds the complaint but requires no further action to be taken as a response has now been provided to the complainant.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50518335

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.529028

Cambridgeshire County Council (Decision Notice): ICO 30 Jan 2012

ICO The complainant has requested information about various specified locations in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire County Council responded that it either does not hold the requested information, or does not hold additional information beyond that which has previously been disclosed to him. The Commissioner’s decision is that Cambridgeshire County Council has correctly responded to the complainant’s request and, on the balance of probabilities, does not hold the requested information, or does not hold any information described in the request which has not previously been disclosed to the complainant.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2012] UKICO FER0397352

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 18 May 2022; Ref: scu.529044

Nottinghamshire Police (Decision Notice): ICO 24 Mar 2009

IPO The complainant made a request for information relating to police investigations of allegations made against members of staff at Rampton Hospital during the late 1970s. In response to the request the Police issued a fees notice requiring payment of Aandpound;16,362.50. The Commissioner has determined that the Fees Notice was based on the provisions of section 12 of the Act and not for appropriate charges which could legitimately be made under section 9. The Commissioner finds that Nottinghamshire Police breached the requirements of section 1(1)(b) of the Act. The Commissioner also finds that Nottinghamshire Police breached sections 10 and 17 of the Act by failing to issue a refusal notice subject to section 17 within the time for complying with the request.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2009] UKICO FS50170631

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.531996

Caerphilly County Borough Council (Decision Notice): ICO 24 Mar 2009

ICO The complainant’s first request was for a breakdown of costs charged by Caerphilly County Borough Council for repairs to his home, its general schedule of rates, and the name of the national reference guideline that it used to determine those rates. The Council provided some information but withheld the remainder under section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’). The complainant’s second request was for an anonymous letter to the Council complaining about him, the envelope and details of the date on which it had been received. The Council withheld this by reference to section 38 of the Act, but gave a summary of the allegations it contained. At internal review the Council acknowledged that the information in the second request could constitute personal data, but failed to consider section 40 explicitly. The Commissioner decided that some of the withheld information in the first request had been properly withheld under section 43(2), but that the breakdown of costs had not, and should be released to the complainant. He also decided that the information in the second request constituted the personal data of the complainant, and was therefore exempt under section 40(1) of the Act (but that the Council should have treated the request for it as a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998). Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2009/0031 struck out.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 10 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 43 – Complaint Partly Upheld

Citations:

[2009] UKICO FS50145203

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.531956

City of York Council (Decision Notice): ICO 5 Oct 2009

The complainant asked City of York Council for various pieces of information regarding absenteeism due to stress, anxiety, depression, and bullying between two dates. City of York Council provided some of the information requested. However, it applied section 12 to the outstanding elements of the request on the basis that they would have to manually check thousands of records. The Commissioner found that City of York Council acted correctly in refusing the request under section 12 of the Act as the appropriate limit would have been exceeded.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 12 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2009] UKICO FS50238411

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.532223

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Decision Notice): ICO 4 Sep 2013

ICO The complainant requested legal advice held by the public authority in relation to the recoupment of capital gains on MPs’ second homes following the decision to discontinue the practice of subsidising mortgage interest payments on those properties. The Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority was entitled to withhold the legal advice on the basis of section 42(1) FOIA. The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any steps.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 42 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50499610

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 17 May 2022; Ref: scu.528678

Medical Research Council (Decision Notice): ICO 29 Jul 2013

ICO The complainant has requested to know who owned and managed the raw data generated from a medical trial. The Medical Research Council (MRC) stated it did not hold information to answer this request. The Commissioner’s decision is that the MRC does not hold any information to answer this request and he is satisfied the MRC has complied with the provisions of the FOIA.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50485606

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.528489

Cambridgeshire Constabulary (Decision Notice): ICO 4 Jul 2013

ICO The complainant requested information about Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s conclusion that certain allegations he had made which it had investigated revealed no evidence of criminal behaviour. He also requested information about its assertion that it had considered charging him with wasting police time. The Constabulary refused the request under section 14(1) of the FOIA as it considered it vexatious. The Commissioner’s decision is that the requests are vexatious and that section 14 was applied correctly. The Constabulary is therefore not obliged to comply with the request.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 14 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50481517

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.528424

University of Nottingham (Decision Notice): ICO 20 Apr 2011

The complainant requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) the workplace email addresses of all of the University’s staff. The University confirmed that it held the information, but considered that it was exempt. It did not specify an exemption but implied that it was relying on section 21(1) [information reasonable accessible by other means] to all of the information. The complainant requested an internal review. The public authority appeared to withdraw its reliance on section 21 and confirmed that it was now relying upon sections 40 [personal data], 38 [prejudice to health and safety] and section 12 [costs limits]. The complainant referred this case to the Commissioner. He confirmed that he did not require email addresses where individuals had expressed concern about their personal safety. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation, the public authority provided detailed arguments about why it believed that section 21(1) could be appropriately applied. The Commissioner has carefully considered this case and has found that in the circumstances of this case, section 21(1) has been applied appropriately to all of the information falling within the scope of the complaint. He has also determined that section 11 imposed no further obligations on the University. He has found procedural breaches of sections 17(1) and 17(1)(b) because the University failed to explicitly identify the exemption that it would later rely upon. However, he requires no remedial steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 11 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 17 – Complaint Upheld, FOI 21 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2011] UKICO FS50311065

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.530432

London Fire Brigade (Decision Notice): ICO 28 Jun 2012

ICO The complainant has requested information relating to a recruitment exercise which the London Fire Brigade ran on 9 August 2011. She asked for details of candidates scores and the notes of interviewers on each candidate. She stated that she would accept redactions to ensure that data protection laws are not compromised. The Commissioner’s decision is that London Fire Brigade has correctly withheld the information under section 40(2). Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2012/0155 withdrawn.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 40 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2012] UKICO FS50429375

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.529569

Cambridgeshire County Council (Decision Notice): ICO 22 Jul 2013

IOC The Commissioner’s decision is that the public authority was entitled to withhold the information requested on the basis of the exception at regulation 13 of the EIR.The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any steps.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 13 – Complaint Not upheld, EIR 14 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FER0489877

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.528425

Cambridgeshire County Council (Decision Notice): ICO 2 Jul 2013

ICO The complainant has requested copies of correspondence the public authority had with McCarthy and Stone regarding a property in Cambridge. The request was for information over the last three years. Cambridgeshire County Council . . disclosed most information but made some redactions which it later identified as being under regulations 12(5)(e) and 13(1) of the EIR. The Commissioner’s decision is that the Council correctly withheld the agreed sale price and dates and the names and contact details of third parties from the information. He does not require the Council to take any steps.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 12.5.e – Complaint Not upheld, EIR 13 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50481810

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.528426

University of Bristol (Decision Notice): ICO 20 Apr 2011

The complainant requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the ‘Act’) the workplace email addresses of all of the University’s staff. The University confirmed that it held the requested recorded information, but believed that it was exempt. It applied section 21(1) [information accessible by other means] in its refusal notice and upheld this position at internal review. The case was referred to the Commissioner, where the complainant specifically asked the Commissioner to consider the operation of section 11(1) [means by which communication to be made] in relation to his request. During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation, the University continued to apply section 21(1) to all the workplace email addresses except for three. Two fell outside the scope of the request, and the third was an omission. The University released the third email address to the complainant. The Commissioner has carefully considered this case. He has found that section 21 has been appropriately applied by the University and that its interpretation of section 11(1) was correct. However, he has found that it breached section 10(1) in failing to disclose the one non-exempt email address to the complainant. As this has now been disclosed, he requires no remedial steps to be taken. Information Tribunal appeal number EA/2011/0120 dismissed.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 10 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 11 – Complaint Not upheld, FOI 21 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2011] UKICO FS50310776

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.530431

Walsall Council (Decision Notice): ICO 24 Mar 2011

The complainant submitted a request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (‘the Council’) for information from environmental records held on a property in Willenhall. The Council confirmed that it held the requested information and made this available for inspection within 20 working days. The complainant contends that whilst the Council responded within 20 working days, it did not respond ‘as soon as possible’. The Commissioner has investigated and has found that because of an administrative error, the Council failed to make the requested information available as soon as possible and has consequently breached regulation 5(2). He does not require the Council to take any further action.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 5 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2011] UKICO FER0355639

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.530402

BBC (Decision Notice): ICO 1 Jul 2013

ICO The complainant has requested information concerning meetings and correspondence with a named individual before and after a Question Time programme. The BBC explained the information was covered by the derogation and excluded from the FOIA. The Commissioner’s decision is that this information is held by the BBC for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature’ and does not fall inside the FOIA. He therefore upholds the BBC’s position and requires no remedial steps to be taken in this case.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2013] UKICO FS50494046

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.528412

Cambridgeshire County Council (Decision Notice): ICO 31 May 2011

ICO The complainant requested from Cambridgeshire County Council (the council) its most up to date adopted Policy on access to social care, domiciliary care, health and medical records for a deceased individual. The council disclosed its Data Protection Policy and confirmed it complied with the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Access to Health Records Act 1990. However, it stated that it did not hold an adopted policy on access to a deceased’s records. The Commissioner’s decision, on the balance of probabilities is that, with the exception of the information supplied, the council does not hold the requested information. He therefore finds that the council complied with section 1(1) of the Act and requires no further steps to be taken.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: FOI 1 – Complaint Not upheld

Citations:

[2011] UKICO FS50356452

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.530444

City of York Council (Decision Notice): ICO 11 May 2011

ICO The complainant submitted a request to the City of York Council (‘the Council’) for information from environmental records held on a property in York. The Council stated that it would only provide a collated version of this information upon provision of a fee. During the course of the investigation, the Council also informed the Commissioner that it relied on the exception at regulation 12(4)(b), which applies to manifestly unreasonable requests. The Commissioner finds that Council has breached regulations 5(1) and 5(2) of the EIR as it failed to make the requested information available on request within the statutory time for compliance. The Council has also breached regulation 6(2)(c) by failing to make the complainant aware of the appeal provisions of the EIR when refusing to provide information in a specific format. The Council has breached regulation 8(3) by charging an unreasonable fee for providing some of the information. The Commissioner finds that the Council applied the exception at regulation 12(4)(b) incorrectly. The Council has breached regulation 14(3)(a) by failing to cite the exception it relied upon in its response to the complainant, and regulation 14(3)(b) by failing to inform the complainant of the details of its public interest test in relation to the exception. The Commissioner requires the Council to make the requested information available for the complainant in the form of a print-out within 35 days of this notice.
Section of Act/EIR and Finding: EIR 5 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 5 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 6 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 8 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 12.4.b – Complaint Upheld, EIR 14 – Complaint Upheld, EIR 14 – Complaint Upheld

Citations:

[2011] UKICO FER0349470

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.530446

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Central Government): ICO 16 Mar 2018

The complainant has requested information concerning a meeting which took place on 13 June 2016 between his MP and the then Minister of State for Skills, Nick Boles MP and civil servants. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy originally withheld the requested information under section 36(2)(b)(ii) of the FOIA but latterly, during the Commissioner’s investigation, applied section 14(1) to refuse the request on the grounds that it was vexatious. The Commissioner has decided that Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is entitled to rely on section 14(1) to refuse the request.
FOI 14: Complaint not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50654431

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.617567

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Central Government): ICO 12 Jul 2018

The complainant has requested copies of correspondence between Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Toyota regarding the company’s investment in its Burnaston car plant in Derbyshire, which was announced on 16 March 2017. BEIS originally withheld the three documents within scope of the request under sections 35 (formulation or development of government policy), 41 (information provided in confidence) and 43(2)(prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOIA and latterly applied section 29(1)(a)(prejudice to the economic interests of the United Kingdom or of any part of the United Kingdom). BEIS provided the complainant with one of the three documents, (a redacted copy of an email exchange) at internal review and advised the Commissioner during her investigation that they did not consider that section 35 applied to the two remaining withheld documents. The Commissioner’s decision is that BEIS correctly withheld the remaining two documents under section 43(2) of the Act and that at the time of the request the public interest balance favoured maintaining the exemption. She does not therefore require BEIS to take any steps as a result of this notice.
FOI 43: Complaint not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50692003

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.621308

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Central Government): ICO 21 Nov 2017

The complainant has requested a full copy of a report obtained by the former Department of Energy and Climate Change (which became part of the newly formed Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in July 2016) from Evercore Partners International LLP on investment and financing considerations for new nuclear investment in Great Britain. The Department withheld the report in its entirety under regulations 12(5)(e)(confidentiality of commercial or industrial information) and 12(5)(f)(interests of the person who provided the information) of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR). The Commissioner’s decision is that BEIS correctly withheld the report under regulation 12(5)(e) and that at the time of the request the public interest balance favoured maintaining the exception. She does not therefore require BEIS to take any steps as a result of this notice.
EIR 12(5)(e): Not upheld

Citations:

[2017] UKICO FER0656407

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.602385

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Central Government): ICO 13 Jun 2018

The complainant has requested information held by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy concerning the Star Chamber sessions referenced in the Government’s Regulatory Futures Review. The Department originally withheld all the information held within scope of the complainant’s request under Section 35(1)(a)(formulation or development of government policy). During the Commissioner’s investigation the Department provided the complainant with some of the information requested, with redactions for information exempt under Section 35(1)(a) and Sections 29(1)(a)(economic interests of the United Kingdom or of any part of the United Kingdom) 35(1)(b)(Ministerial communications) and 40(2)(third party personal data), which the Department applied latterly to some of the information held. The Commissioner has found that all the residual withheld information is exempt from disclosure under Section 35(1)(a) and requires no steps to be taken as a result of this notice.
FOI 35: Complaint not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50672948

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.621223

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Central Government): ICO 9 Jan 2018

The complainant has requested a copy of a letter sent to the CEO of Nissan from the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) originally withheld the letter under sections 22(1) (information intended for future publication) and 43(2) (prejudice to commercial interests) of the FOIA and latterly applied section 29(1) (a) (prejudice the economic interests of the United Kingdom or of any part of the United Kingdom) during the Commissioner’s investigation. The Commissioner’s decision is that BEIS correctly withheld the letter under section 22(1) of the Act and that at the time of the request the public interest balance favoured maintaining the exemption. She does not therefore require BEIS to take any steps as a result of this notice. However, the Commissioner has found that BEIS breached section 10(1) of the FOIA by failing to provide a substantive response to the request within 20 working days.
FOI 22: Not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO FS50662630

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 16 May 2022; Ref: scu.617346

Department of Health and Social Care (Central Government): ICO 17 Jan 2018

The complainant has requested information on the guidance provided to doctors in respect of treating patients who may have suffered sexual abuse. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) originally denied holding the information. At the internal review stage the DH confirmed the information was held but refused the request under section 21 – information reasonably accessible to the applicant, and provided the complainant with links to where the information could be accessed on the internet. Unfortunately the links did not work and ultimately the DHSC provided the complainant with electronic copies of the documents it held. Inevitably this was outside the 20 working days for responding to requests. The Commissioner’s decision is that DHSC breached section 10 by failing to provide the requested information within 20 working days. By failing to issue a refusal notice in respect of the exemption it was relying on at the time of the internal review within 20 working days of receipt of the request the DHSC also breached section 17(1). However the Commissioner finds that the DHSC did not breach it obligations to provide advice and assistance under section 16 as alleged by the complainant. As the DHSC has now provided the complainant with the requested information the Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any further action in this matter.
FOI 17: Complaint partly upheld FOI 10: Complaint upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50689986

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.617350

Department of Health and Social Care (Central Government): ICO 9 Mar 2018

The complainant made four requests to DHSC for information relating to an ‘efficiency’ meeting from June 2015, information relating to four First Tier Tribunal cases, information relating to a meeting between PS(H) and Simon Stevens dated 23 September 2014 and information relating to DHSC Twitter accounts. The DHSC refused to comply with the requests under section 14 FOIA as it considers them to be vexatious. The Commissioner’s decision is that DHSC correctly applied section 14 FOIA to the requests. The Commissioner requires no steps to be taken.
FOI 14: Complaint not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50696713

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.617581

Department of Health and Social Care (Central Government): ICO 20 Jun 2018

The complainant requested information held by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) into delayed payments to suppliers the impact of the falling pound on NHS finances following the referendum on exiting the European Union. The DHSC confirmed it held a report on the analysis on the potential effects of the UK’s exit from the European Union and the rate of pound sterling on NHS finances but considered this exempt from disclosure by virtue of the exemptions at sections 43, 36, 27 and 29 of the FOIA. The Commissioner’s decision is that the DHSC has correctly applied sections 43(2), 36(2)(b)(i) and (ii) to withhold the information.
FOI 43: Complaint not upheld FOI 36: Complaint not upheld

Citations:

[2018] UKICO fs50696060

Links:

Bailii

Jurisdiction:

England and Wales

Information

Updated: 15 May 2022; Ref: scu.621227