Monday, November 27, 2006

Latest Tribunal Decision

A decision worth noting for those working in public authorities about the importance of the S16 "Duty to assist & advise" and the S45 Code of Practice relating to S16, plus also to requestors about being clear and consistent about what you require throughout the process to appeal.

Dr C Lamb v Information Commissioner (16 November 2006)

The Tribunal finds that the Information Commissioner was wrong in law in issuing a Decision Notice upholding the Cabinet Office’s determination that the Cabinet Office did not hold any information of the type purportedly requested, on account of a failure on the part of the Information Commissioner to take into account properly or at all the admitted lack of clarity in the complainant’s original request.

The Tribunal substitutes a new Decision Notice requiring disclosure within 28 days of the date of this Decision in the following terms, namely:
On consideration of part (ii) of the complainant’s request of 31 March 2005 the Cabinet Office should have asked the complainant to particularise the said request in order to identify the precise information requested, asking in particular whether the said request sought information with regard to the author or authors of any legal advice or opinion provided to the Cabinet Office (other than by the Attorney General) irrespective of whether the said legal advice or opinion was provided by governmental or non-governmental source.

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