Ministry of Defence v Information Commissioner & Evans

Reference: UKIT EA 2006_0027

Court: Information Tribunal

Judge: David Marks

Date of judgment: 20 Jul 2017

Summary: FOIA appeal concerning disclosure of a directory published by the Defence Export Services Organisation (‘DESO’)

Appearances: Aidan Eardley (Respondent) 

Instructing Solicitors: Jan Clements, Guardian News & Media Ltd, for 2d Respondent

Facts

DESO produced a directory listing contacts within the organisation. The directory was circulated to contacts within the defence industry. Guardian journalist Rob Evans sought a copy of the directory under FOIA. DESO provided only a redacted copy. The Information Commissioner determined that all the requested information should be disclosed. DESO appealed.

Issue

Whether the redacted material could properly be withheld under FOIA s 24 (national security), s36 (prejudice to the conduct of public affairs), s38 (health and safety) and/or s40(2) (personal data)

Held

Appeal dismissed, but redaction permitted of the names of lower grade DESO staff, and of telephone numbers and email addresses for all staff unless already published in the Civil Service Year Book or similar generally available publication.