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

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Parliamentary privilege.     34. - (1) Information is exempt information if exemption from section 1(1)(b) is required for the purpose of avoiding an infringement of the privileges of either House of Parliament.
 
      (2) The duty to confirm or deny does not apply if, or to the extent that, exemption from section 1(1)(a) is required for the purpose of avoiding an infringement of the privileges of either House of Parliament.
 
      (3) A certificate signed by the appropriate authority certifying that exemption from section 1(1)(b), or from section 1(1)(a) and (b), is, or at any time was, required for the purpose of avoiding an infringement of the privileges of either House of Parliament shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.
 
      (4) In subsection (3) "the appropriate authority" means-
 
 
    (a) in relation to the House of Commons, the Speaker of that House, and
 
    (b) in relation to the House of Lords, the Clerk of the Parliaments.
Formulation of government policy, etc.     35. - (1) Information held by a government department or by the National Assembly for Wales is exempt information if it relates to-
 
 
    (a) the formulation or development of government policy,
 
    (b) Ministerial communications,
 
    (c) the provision of advice by any of the Law Officers or any request for the provision of such advice, or
 
    (d) the operation of any Ministerial private office.
      (2) Once a decision as to government policy has been taken, any statistical information used to provide an informed background to the taking of the decision is not to be regarded-
 
 
    (a) for the purposes of subsection (1)(a), as relating to the formulation or development of government policy, or
 
    (b) for the purposes of subsection (1)(b), as relating to Ministerial communications.
      (3) 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).
 
      (4) In making any determination required by section 2(1)(b) or (2)(b) in relation to information which is exempt information by virtue of subsection (1)(a), regard shall be had to the particular public interest in the disclosure of factual information which has been used, or is intended to be used, to provide an informed background to decision-taking.
 
      (5) In this section-
 
 
    "government policy" includes the policy of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the policy of the National Assembly for Wales;
 
    "the Law Officers" means the Attorney General, the Solicitor General, the Advocate General for Scotland, the Lord Advocate, the Solicitor General for Scotland and the Attorney General for Northern Ireland;
 
    "Ministerial communications" means any communications-
 
      (a) between Ministers of the Crown,
 
      (b) between Northern Ireland Ministers, including Northern Ireland junior Ministers, or
 
      (c) between Assembly Secretaries, including the Assembly First Secretary,
 
    and includes, in particular, proceedings of the Cabinet or of any committee of the Cabinet, proceedings of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly, and proceedings of the executive committee of the National Assembly for Wales;
 
    "Ministerial private office" means any part of a government department which provides personal administrative support to a Minister of the Crown, to a Northern Ireland Minister or a Northern Ireland junior Minister or any part of the administration of the National Assembly for Wales providing personal administrative support to the Assembly First Secretary or an Assembly Secretary;
 
    "Northern Ireland junior Minister" means a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly appointed as a junior Minister under section 19 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.
Prejudice to effective conduct of public affairs.     36. - (1) This section applies to-
 
 
    (a) information which is held by a government department or by the National Assembly for Wales and is not exempt information by virtue of section 35, and
 
    (b) information which is held by any other public authority.
      (2) Information to which this section applies is exempt information if, in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person, disclosure of the information under this Act-
 
 
    (a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice-
 
      (i) the maintenance of the convention of the collective responsibility of Ministers of the Crown, or
 
      (ii) the work of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly, or
 
      (iii) the work of the executive committee of the National Assembly for Wales,
 
    (b) would, or would be likely to, inhibit-
 
      (i) the free and frank provision of advice, or
 
      (ii) the free and frank exchange of views for the purposes of deliberation, or
 
    (c) would otherwise prejudice, or would be likely otherwise to prejudice, the effective conduct of public affairs.
      (3) The duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information to which this section applies (or would apply if held by the public authority) if, or to the extent that, in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, have any of the effects mentioned in subsection (2).
 
      (4) In relation to statistical information, subsections (2) and (3) shall have effect with the omission of the words "in the reasonable opinion of a qualified person".
 
      (5) In subsections (2) and (3) "qualified person"-
 
 
    (a) in relation to information held by a government department in the charge of a Minister of the Crown, means any Minister of the Crown,
 
    (b) in relation to information held by a Northern Ireland department, means the Northern Ireland Minister in charge of the department,
 
    (c) in relation to information held by any other government department, means the commissioners or other person in charge of that department,
 
    (d) in relation to information held by the House of Commons, means the Speaker of that House,
 
    (e) in relation to information held by the House of Lords, means the Clerk of the Parliaments,
 
    (f) in relation to information held by the Northern Ireland Assembly, means the Presiding Officer,
 
    (g) in relation to information held by the National Assembly for Wales, means the Assembly First Secretary,
 
    (h) in relation to information held by any Welsh public authority other than the Auditor General for Wales, means-
 
      (i) the public authority, or
 
      (ii) any officer or employee of the authority authorised by the Assembly First Secretary,
 
    (i) in relation to information held by the National Audit Office, means the Comptroller and Auditor General,
 
    (j) in relation to information held by the Northern Ireland Audit Office, means the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland,
 
    (k) in relation to information held by the Auditor General for Wales, means the Auditor General for Wales,
 
    (l) in relation to information held by any Northern Ireland public authority other than the Northern Ireland Audit Office, means-
 
      (i) the public authority, or
 
      (ii) any officer or employee of the authority authorised by the First Minister and deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland acting jointly,
 
    (m) in relation to information held by the Greater London Authority, means the Mayor of London,
 
    (n) in relation to information held by a functional body within the meaning of the Greater London Authority Act 1999, means the chairman of that functional body, and
 
    (o) in relation to information held by any public authority not falling within any of paragraphs (a) to (n), means-
 
      (i) a Minister of the Crown,
 
      (ii) the public authority, if authorised for the purposes of this section by a Minister of the Crown, or
 
      (iii) any officer or employee of the public authority who is authorised for the purposes of this section by a Minister of the Crown.
      (6) Any authorisation for the purposes of this section-
 
 
    (a) may relate to a specified person or to persons falling within a specified class,
 
    (b) may be general or limited to particular classes of case, and
 
    (c) may be granted subject to conditions.
      (7) A certificate signed by the qualified person referred to in subsection (5)(d) or (e) above certifying that in his reasonable opinion-
 
 
    (a) disclosure of information held by either House of Parliament, or
 
    (b) compliance with section 1(1)(a) by either House,
       would, or would be likely to, have any of the effects mentioned in subsection (2) shall be conclusive evidence of that fact.
 
Communications with Her Majesty, etc. and honours.     37. - (1) Information is exempt information if it relates to-
 
 
    (a) communications with Her Majesty, with other members of the Royal Family or with the Royal Household, or
 
    (b) the conferring by the Crown of any honour or dignity.
      (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).
 
Health and safety.     38. - (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.     39. - (1) Information is exempt information if the public authority holding it-
 
 
    (a) is obliged by regulations under section 74 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 21(1).
 
Personal information.     40. - (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 otherwise than under this Act 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 otherwise than under this Act 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 giving to a member of the public of 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.
 
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