Tuesday, March 06, 2007

ICO issues further decision ordering OGC to disclose information about Gateway process

Case Ref: FS50095679
Date: 28/02/2007
Public Authority: Office of Government Commerce
Section of the Act/EIRs & Finding: FOI 33 - Complaint upheld
Full transcript of decision

Decision Summary:
"The complainant requested copies of eight letters sent by the OGC to the relevant Permanent Secretaries following their department’s projects receiving a double red warning in Gateway reports and any replies from the Permanent Secretaries. The OGC disclosed edited copies of the letters but refused to disclose them in full on the grounds that the information requested was subject to section 33 of the Act ‘Audit Functions’ and that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosure. The Commissioner investigated whether section 33 of the Act applied to the requested information and found that the exemption was not engaged as the OGC had failed to demonstrate that release of the information would, or would be likely to prejudice the exercise of any of its audit functions. The Commissioner’s decision is to uphold the complaint and order the OGC to disclose the requested information within 35 calendar days from date of this notice. "
This decision is in line with two earlier decisions (FS50070196 and FS50132936) by the Commissioner upholding complaints against the OGC over Gateway reports relating to the Identity Cards Scheme. The OGC has appealed the two earlier decisions to the Information Tribunal, which is due to hear the appeals next week.

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