The complainant has requested from the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) the hourly rates of all legal professionals instructed and the total sums paid to each firm (they were employed by) between 2017 and 2018. The PHSO disclosed the total sums paid to each firm but applied section 43(2) of the FOIA (Commercial interests) to withhold the hourly rates of each legal professional. The Commissioner’s decision is that the PHSO has correctly applied section 43(2) of the FOIA to the withheld information and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure. The Commissioner does not require the PHSO to take any steps as a result of this decision.
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