News article

New guidance—the OIA’s confidentiality withholding ground

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The Chief Ombudsman has published a new guide today on the OIA’s confidentiality withholding ground.

The OIA says that information must be made available unless there is a good reason not to.

One good reason relates to the protection of ‘confidential information’, where release would be likely to:

  • prejudice the future supply of information that is in the public interest, or
  • damage the public interest in some other way.

The new guide explains:

  • what we mean by ‘confidential information’,
  • how to decide whether release would be likely to prejudice the future supply of information that is in the public interest, and
  • some of the other ways that release can be likely to damage the public interest.

It’s supported by lots of new case notes to explain how the confidentiality withholding ground applies in practice, as well as a step by step work sheet to guide decision making.

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