Freedom of information response

First Tier Tribunal

Publication date: 
Thursday 12 January 2023

First Tier Tribunal (General Regulatory Chamber) in cases EA/2020/0241 and EA/2020/0242, [2022] UKFTT 00375 (GRC). The decision is reported at

Please provide a copy of:

  1. the Qualified Person´s opinion concerning the FOIA section 36(2)(b) and/or (c) exemptions, relied upon by the Council in refusing (in part) those previous requests; and
  2. that part of any witness statement provided to the Tribunal by the Council that speaks to the engagement of the FOIA section 36(2)(b) and/or (c) exemptions.

1) Please see appendix A attached. 

Please note officer names have been redacted as an absolute exemption applies.  Personal Information (Section 40,2)

Personal data of any other person (third party data) is exempt under section 40(2) if disclosure would breach one of the data protection principles. This aspect of Section 40 is an Absolute Exemption and is therefore not subject to the Public Interest Test.

The names of officers working for the Council is personal data specific to them. It is therefore subject to the provisions of the Data Protection Act. Information can be withheld if its disclosure would be likely to breach one or more of the Principles of the Data Protection Act. There is no prior expectation on the part of team Managers (or other officers working below the level of Director) that their names and job titles / positions would be published into the wider public domain under FOI. A disclosure made under FOI constitutes a publication to the world at large. We believe that to disclose this would be likely to breach the first Principle of the Data Protection Act by unfairly contravening their right to privacy and confidentiality in the work place.

2) This information is exempt under section 32 1(a) of the Freedom of Information  Act 2000. This is because this exemption applies to information held only by virtue of being contained in documents that are created or held for the purposes of court proceedings.

This is an absolute exemption and there is therefore no requirement to consider the public interest.

You are free to use any information supplied to you for your own use, including non-commercial research purposes.  However, any other type of re-use, for example, by publishing the information or issuing copies to the public will require the permission of the copyright owner.

Where the copyright is owned by Thurrock Council, you must apply to the Council to re-use the information.  Please email if you wish to re-use the information you have been supplied. For information where the copyright is owned by another person or organisation, you must apply to the copyright owner to obtain their permission.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which the council have managed your FOI request you can pursue an Internal Review by contacting us using the above email address. Your request will be considered by a senior member of the Information Management Team who will update you with the outcome of the review. 

If you remain unhappy following the outcome of your Internal Review you may wish to refer your case to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and details of this organisation can be found at . Please be advised that the ICO will not consider your case until they have confirmation that you have already been through the Internal Review stage with the council.

Request reference:
FOI 12503