The complainant submitted a three part request to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO, now the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) seeking information about communications with a third party contractor concerning Cameroon. The FCO explained that it did not hold any information falling within the scope of the first two parts of the request, and although it held information falling within the last part of the request it considered this to be exempt from disclosure on the basis of the following sections of FOIA: 26(1)(b) (defence), 27(1)(a) and (d) (international relations), 40(2) (personal data) and 43(2) (commercial interests). During the course of the Commissioner’s investigation the FCDO subsequently disclosed some information to the complainant. The Commissioner’s decision is that the remaining information is exempt from disclosure on the basis of 26(1)(b), 27(1)(a) and (d), 40(2) and 43(2). However, the Commissioner has also concluded that the FCDO breached section 17(3) by failing to conclude its public interest test considerations and provide the complainant with a substantive response to his request within a reasonable timeframe.
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