Copies of IPSA Board Papers and the Chief Executive's report
IPSA holds the information that you request.
In responding to your request, we have considered the public interest arguments surrounding the release of IPSA’s Board Papers containing the Chief Executive’s report.
Our qualified person, as designated by the Lord Chancellor under s.36(5)(o)(iii) of the FOIA, undertook a public interest test to assess whether the public interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure in relation to the s.36 exemption.
The public interest balancing exercise was conducted in relation to the engagement of the exemption at s.36(2)(c) (prejudicial to the effective conduct of public affairs) of the Act. In doing so, our qualified person considered the Board Papers requested and the arguments for and against applying s.36.
Our qualified person considered that the presumption of Freedom of Information legislation is that information should be released on request. It was also considered whether releasing such correspondence could impair the ability of IPSA to act as an independent regulator and could thus cause a detrimental impact on the conduct of public affairs.
We proposed, and our qualified person agreed, that we should withhold reference to three categories in particular:
where there is a discussion of or reporting on operational issues which might disclose IPSA’s internal processes and thereby prejudice IPSA’s ability to act as an effective regulator;
sections on mortgage interest subsidy where the process has not been finalised;
sections on communications and political landscape, release of which may well inhibit both detailed reporting to the Board and subsequent discussion by the Board.
In balancing the arguments, our qualified person has commented as follows:
“As to the Board paper and annex on publication of Board papers, I can see no reason to apply s.36. This decision should not inhibit the newly consolidated IPSA Board who will review the approach to publication policy in early 2013.
In principle, the CEO reports should be released, particularly bearing in mind the current policy of publishing Board papers 6 months in arrears, in as much as the contents are factual. However, as identified in the ‘contrary arguments’ there are aspects that need to be redacted if the conduct of public affairs is not to be impaired. I agree with the aspects identified, although every report will require separate consideration on an ongoing basis.”
Our qualified person has, therefore, applied s.36(2)(c) of the Act to exempt some of the requested information from being released. We will release the CEO reports but, in line with our qualified person’s advice, we have redacted the relevant parts of the CEO reports.
Further, we have also redacted the names of junior staff members, third parties and the sections on personnel, in doing so applying s. 40(2) of the FOIA which exempts any personal information from release, in line with the Data Protection Act.
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- 15 March 2013
- IPSA - BOARD
- Exemptions Applied:
- Section 36