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Freedom of Information - Exemptions

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, there are two categories of exempt information.

Absolute Exemptions

Absolute exemptions do not require the University to consider disclosure in the public interest, nor is it required to state whether or not the information in question is held. These include:

  • Section 21 - Information accessible to applicants by other means
  • Section 23 - Information dealing with security matters either supplied by, or relating to bodies dealing with such matters
  • Section 32 - Court records
  • Section 34 - Parliamentary privilege
  • Section 36 - Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs (relates only to information held by Parliament)
  • Section 40 - Personal Information where the applicant is the data subject, or personal information relating to a third party where release would breach the Data Protection Principles.
  • Section 41 - Information provided in confidence
  • Section 44 - Prohibitions on disclosure by any enactment, incompatibility with any Community obligation or contempt of court

Non-Absolute Exemptions

Non-absolute exemptions are exemptions where the University has to consider the public interest in confirming or denying that the information exists and in disclosing information.

Where the University is claiming an exemption under the Act, it must inform you of the specific exemption which is being claimed and why it applies, and it must do so within 20 working days of a request being received. These include:

  • Section 22 - Information intended for future publication
  • Section 24 - National Security; (notwithstanding the provisions of Section 23)
  • Section 26 - Defence
  • Section 27 - International Relations
  • Section 28 - Relations within the UK
  • Section 29 - The Economy
  • Section 30 - Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities
  • Section 31 - Law enforcement
  • Section 33 - Audit functions
  • Section 35 - Formulation of government policy
  • Section 36 - Prejudice to the effective conduct of public affairs (excluding information held by Parliament)
  • Section 37 - Communications with the Queen
  • Section 38 - Health and safety
  • Section 39 - Environmental information
  • Section 40 - Personal information relating to a third party (where release would not breach Data Protection Principles)
  • Section 42 - Legal professional privilege
  • Section 43 - Commercial interests