There have been a number of relevant decision notices issued by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) surrounding the publication of business rates information, some of which are listed on this page. Please note that each reference number is linked to the corresponding decision notice on the ICO website.
- Westminster City Council - 8 June 2022 - IC-137699-L0Q9
- London Borough of Tower Hamlets Council - 25 January 2018 - FS50671834
- Wandsworth Council - 6 Feb 2017 - FS50619844
- London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham - 4 October 2017 - FS50643256
- Westminster City Council - 19 December 2016 - FS50611895
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - 19 December 2016 - FS50611353.
In these instances the Councils state that disclosure of the information withheld under Section 31(1) (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime. It was explained that releasing the requested information would allow potential fraudsters to use the information to defraud the Council and taxpayers of significant sums of money. Based on these arguments, the Commissioner has accepted that the prejudice claimed by the Councils correctly relate to the prevention of crime.
In line with the Information Commissioner’s decisions and after consideration of the risks to fraudulent claims against the public purse, Telford & Wrekin Council no longer publishes or releases information relating to Business Rates accounts and properties. The information is being withheld under Section 31(1)(a) Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA), which states that:
“Information which is not exempt under Section 30 is exempt information if its disclosure under this Act would, or would be likely to, prejudice (a) the prevention or detection of crime".
The Council has carefully considered and concluded that the public interest of applying this exemption and protecting public funds outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information in this case.
Last updated: 28/07/2022 15:59