ICO - FS50912491

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ICO - FS50912491
Authority: ICO (UK)
Jurisdiction: United Kingdom
Relevant Law: Article 5(1)(a) GDPR
Article 6(1)(f) GDPR
Section 3 (2) DPA
Section 40 (2) FOIA
Section 40 (3A) (a) FOIA
Type: Complaint
Outcome: Rejected
Decided: 30.07.2020
Fine: None
Parties: n/a
National Case Number/Name: FS50912491
European Case Law Identifier: n/a
Appeal: n/a
Original Language(s): English
Original Source: ICO (in EN)
Initial Contributor: n/a

ICO holds that information relating to a grievance process must not be disclosed by the public authority under the UK Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) since the information is protected by data protection law.

English Summary


The complainant requested information regarding a grievance process within the Department of Finance in Northern Ireland (the Department) under FOIA. The information included interview notes and statements as well as names, ranks and job roles of interviewees in the evidence gathering process. The Department refused disclosure for reasons of data protection, relying on section 40 (2) FOIA.


Does the information in question constitute personal data and would disclosure contravene data protection principles?


The ICO decides that the Department correctly refused to disclose the requested information under section 40(2) FOIA, by way of section 40(3A) a.

The requested information constitutes personal data and can not be anonymised to prevent identification of data subjects from the data released.

The ICO considers Article 6 (1) (f) as a potential basis for processing, confirms legitimate interest and necessity but concludes that the rights and freedoms of the data subjects outweigh the legitimate interest in disclosure. It takes into consideration the extent of a potential disclosure under FOIA (to the wider public), the data subjects’ reasonable expectation of confidentiality and potential stress in case of disclosure.


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English Machine Translation of the Decision

The decision below is a machine translation of the English original. Please refer to the English original for more details.