The complainant submitted a request to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for information related to the Secretary of State’s decision not to block Bermuda’s Domestic Partnership Bill. The FCO withheld the information falling within the scope of the request on the basis of sections 27(1)(a) and 27(2) (international relations); 35(1)(a) (formulation and development of government policy); 42(1) (legal professional privilege) and 40(2) (personal data). The Commissioner has concluded that the withheld information is exempt from disclosure on the basis of sections 27(1)(a), 35(1)(a), 42(1) or section 40(2) and in relation to the qualified exemptions the public interest favours maintaining the exemptions. The only exception to this finding is in relation to part of the submission to the Secretary of State which the Commissioner accepts is exempt from disclosure on the basis of section 35(1)(a), but for which she has concluded that the public interest in maintaining the exemption does not outweigh the public interest in its disclosure.
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