DETI FOI Appeal, ctd.

I have received an update from DETI on my FOI Appeal from November, where I challenged their right to withold information on the tender process for the production on an E-government Strategy (a project that eventually came in £150k over its initial budget of £30k).

Apparently “the Department is now minded to release a range of information, but before that can happen Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) will have to consult with the firms and obtain further legal opinion.”

Interestingly, one of the two decisions published by the Information Commissioner this month might also now come into play in relation to this request as well.

In the information which was provided by DETI, most names of personnel involved the process were redacted from the minutes, emails, etc as “not relevant to [my] request” or as “personal data”.

However, in Decision Notice 75489, the OIC upheld a complaint against the Department for Education and Skills, part of which related to a similar redaction. Here it was ruled:

The DfES has also claimed that the names of civil servants attending the meetings or who are otherwise referred to in the minutes is exempt information under section 40 of the Act. The Commissioner’s decision is that this personal information can be disclosed without contravening any of the principles of the Data Protection Act 198 and that therefore the exemption provided by section 40 is not engaged.

Looks like I need to go back and extend my appeal…

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