The complainant has requested information relating to a disciplinary hearing he believes took place following a complaint he made to the Council. The Council refused to provide the information citing the exemptions provided by section 40(2) – third party personal data and section 41 – information provided in confidence, as its basis for doing so. The Commissioner’s decision is that the Council is entitled in this case to rely on section 40(5) to refuse to confirm whether it held the requested information, as to do so would in itself constitute the disclosure of personal data in breach of the data protection principles. Furthermore the Commissioner is satisfied that if the information was in fact held, it would be exempt from disclosure under section 40(2). The Commissioner does not require the public authority to take any further action in this matter.
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