UK Information Commissioner publishes first decisions under FOIA 2000

The UK Information Commissioner has published his first decisions. The first of these appeared on his website on 19 June 2005.

The latest decision published concerns the section 43(2) exemption - prejudice to commercial interests:

Case Ref: FS50063478Date: 20/6/05
Public Authority: National Maritime Museum ('NMM')
Summary: Complainant requested documents and correspondence relating to any payments made to Conrad Shawcross for his exhibition "Continuum" which was staged at Queen's House at the NMM. This exhibition was part of NMM's New Visions series. NMM argued that to release the information would prejudice their own and Mr Shawcross' commercial interests citing Section 43 (2) and that the public interest in maintaining this exemption outweighed the public interest in disclosing the information. NMM explained that they were involved in active negotiations with the next proposed artist in their New Visions series at the time the FOI request was made. In our view, the public interest in protecting NMM's bargaining position during active and contemporaneous negotiations for a project of a similar nature overrides, for the time being, the public interest in releasing the financial details of the negotiations which immediately preceded those active negotiations. It was noted that as a consequence of this decision, the potential prejudice to Mr Shawcross' commercial interest will also be avoided because the requested information relates to both parties. However, we believe that the potential prejudice to Mr Shawcross' commercial interests is not, in itself, sufficient reason to maintain the exemption.
Section of Act/EIR & Finding: FOI s.43 (2) re NMM - Not Upheld, FOI s.43 (2) re Mr Shawcross - Upheld

Full text of decision (pdf) (UK Information Commissioner's website, 22 June 2005)

List of decisions published (UK Information Commissioner's website)

A new section containing links to the decisions of the Scottish, UK and Irish Commissioners has been added to the right hand side of this blog.