Freedom of Information Bill - continued        House of Commons
PART II, EXEMPT INFORMATION - continued

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Health and safety.     36. - (1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to-
 
 
    (a) endanger the physical or mental health of any individual, or
 
    (b) endanger the safety of any individual.
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely, to have either of the effects mentioned in subsection (1).
 
Environmental information.     37. - (1) Information is exempt information if the public authority holding it-
 
 
    (a) is obliged by regulations under section 73 to make the information available to the public in accordance with the regulations, or
 
    (b) would be so obliged but for any exemption contained in the regulations.
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of subsection (1).
 
      (3) Subsection (1)(a) does not limit the generality of section 19(1).
 
Personal information.     38. - (1) Any information to which a request for information relates is exempt information if it constitutes personal data of which the applicant is the data subject.
 
      (2) Any information to which a request for information relates is also exempt information if-
 
 
    (a) it constitutes personal data which do not fall within subsection (1), and
 
    (b) either the first or the second condition below is satisfied.
      (3) The first condition is-
 
 
    (a) in a case where the information falls within any of paragraphs (a) to (d) of the definition of "data" in section 1(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998, that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public would contravene-
 
      (i) any of the data protection principles, or
 
      (ii) section 10 of that Act (right to prevent processing likely to cause damage or distress), and
 
    (b) in any other case, that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public would contravene any of the data protection principles if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (which relate to manual data held by public authorities) were disregarded.
      (4) The second condition is that by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the Data Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section 7(1)(c) of that Act (data subject's right of access to personal data).
 
      (5) The duty to confirm or deny-
 
 
    (a) does not arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of subsection (1), and
 
    (b) does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent that either-
 
      (i) the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles or section 10 of the Data Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of that Act were disregarded, or
 
      (ii) by virtue of any provision of Part IV of the Data Protection Act 1998 the information is exempt from section 7(1)(a) of that Act (data subject's right to be informed whether personal data being processed).
      (6) In determining for the purposes of this section whether anything done before 24th October 2007 would contravene any of the data protection principles, the exemptions in Part III of Schedule 8 to the Data Protection Act 1998 shall be disregarded.
 
      (7) In this section-
 
 
    "the data protection principles" means the principles set out in Part I of Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998, as read subject to Part II of that Schedule and section 27(1) of that Act;
 
    "data subject" has the same meaning as in section 1(1) of that Act;
 
    "personal data" has the same meaning as in section 1(1) of that Act.
Information provided in confidence.     39. - (1) Information is exempt information if-
 
 
    (a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other person (including another public authority), and
 
    (b) the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of confidence actionable by that other person.
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) constitute an actionable breach of confidence.
 
Legal professional privilege.     40. - (1) Information in respect of which a claim to legal professional privilege or, in Scotland, to confidentiality of communications could be maintained in legal proceedings is exempt information.
 
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would involve the disclosure of any information (whether or not already recorded) in respect of which such a claim could be maintained in legal proceedings.
 
Commercial interests.     41. - (1) Information is exempt information if it constitutes a trade secret.
 
      (2) Information is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person (including the public authority holding it).
 
      (3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice the interests mentioned in subsection (2).
 
Prohibitions on disclosure.     42. - (1) Information is exempt information if its disclosure (otherwise than under this Act) by the public authority holding it-
 
 
    (a) is prohibited by or under any enactment,
 
    (b) is incompatible with any Community obligation, or
 
    (c) would constitute or be punishable as a contempt of court.
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny is excluded if the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) fall within any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1).
 
Power to confer additional exemptions by order.     43. - (1) Information is exempt information if-
 
 
    (a) it is information to which an order made by the Secretary of State under this subsection applies, and
 
    (b) its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, have such effects adverse to the public interest as may be specified in the order.
      (2) If at any time it appears to the Secretary of State, in relation to particular information which is already in existence at that time, that the public interest in exempting the information from disclosure under this Act outweighs the public interest in allowing access to the information, he may by order provide that the information is to be exempt information.
 
      (3) An order under subsection (1) or (2) may-
 
 
    (a) provide that the duty to confirm or deny is not to arise in relation to information which is (or if it were held by the public authority would be) exempt information by virtue of the order, and
 
    (b) apply any provision of section 62 or 63 which is specified in the order, with such modifications as may be so specified, in relation to information which is exempt information by virtue of the order.
      (4) An order under subsection (1) or (2) which comes into force on any day ("the commencement day") may be expressed to have effect in relation to requests for information which-
 
 
    (a) were made to any public authority on or after such earlier day as may be specified in the order, but
 
    (b) have not been complied with by the authority before the commencement day.
      (5) Where an order under subsection (1) or (2) is expressed to have such effect as is mentioned in subsection (4), a public authority is not to be taken to have failed to comply with any provision of Part I before the day on which the order comes into force by reason of any failure to comply with a request to which the order applies, to the extent to which the request relates to information which becomes exempt information by virtue of the order.
 
      (6) Before making an order under subsection (1) or (2), the Secretary of State shall consult the Commissioner.
 
 
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