Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Information Tribunal decisions

Latest decisions from the Information Tribunal (the next stage of appeal after the Information Commissioner) have been published, the most important being the Thanet Council decision - which has important implications for Environmental Information - the Tribunal ruled that the the request (relating to legal advice about night flights at Kent International Airport should have been considered under the Environmntal Information Regulations (EIRS) (not FOIA) and the ICO's decision under the FOIA has been substituted for a new decision to allow the appellant the view the information. This highlights the importance for both users of the Act and Practitioners to very carefully consider whether information requested falls under the definitions in the EIRs (section 2c). The Tribunal useful restates the position: "where a request for information is made under FOIA there is an exemption under s.39 where the EIR apply, and the public authority is obliged to deal with the request under EIR." (see the DEFRA pages and this DCA document for a brief overview of the differences.

Mr N Slann v Information Commissioner (11 July 2006) (PDF 213KB)
Public authority:Financial Services Authority
Tribunal decision: appeal dismissed - IC decision upheld
Original ICO decision

Mr P Toms v Information Commissioner (20 June 2006) (PDF 210KB)
Public authority: Royal Mail
Tribunal decision: appeal dismissed - IC decision upheld
Original ICO decision

Mr M S Kirkaldie v Information Commissioner (4 July 2006) (PDF 84KB)
Public Authority: Thanet Council
Decision: The Tribunal finds that the Appellant made a valid request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) and that the legal professional privilege exception does not apply. The Tribunal, therefore, requires that Thanet District Council allow the Appellant to view and examine the legal Opinion dated 12 January 2005 given by Toby Davey at their offices in Cecil Street Margate Kent CT9 1XZ within 10 working days of the date of this decision (the substituted Decision Notice).
Original ICO decision was under the Freedom of Information Act

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