The complainant has requested from the Department for Exiting the European Union (“DExEU”) sector studies referenced by Rt Hon David Davis MP in a submission to a Select Committee of the House of Commons. DExEU refused to provide this citing sections 35 (formulation/development of government policy), 27 (prejudice to international relations) and 29 (prejudice to the economy) as its basis for doing so. It failed to conduct an internal review despite the complainant requesting one. The Commissioner’s decision is that DExEU is entitled to rely on section 35 as its basis for withholding most of the requested information. It cannot rely on section 35 in respect of a list of the document titles in the requested information in accordance with the Confidential Annex to this notice. This information is also not exempt under section 27 or section 29. The Commissioner requires the public authority to take the following steps to ensure compliance with the legislation: Disclose a list of the titles of the documents which contain the withheld information in accordance with the Confidential Annex to this notice. The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of the Act and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.
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