A public authority may refuse to supply some, or all, of the information you have requested because it is qualified exempt information.
This means that the information must be of the type referred to by the exemption and the public authority must consider whether the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
For some exemptions, the public authority must determine that a specified prejudice or harm would, or would be likely to occur if the information was disclosed before considering the public interest.
The qualified exemptions are:
- National security and defence
- International relations
- Economy and commercial interests
- Investigations and legal proceedings
- Law enforcement
- Audit functions
- Formulation of policy
- Conduct of public business
- Health and safety
- Research and natural resources
- Qualified exempt communications with the Crown
- Qualified exempt personal information
- Legal professional privilege
- Information for future publication
When responding to a request the public authority is required to give consideration to the possibility of removing exempt information while disclosing all non-exempt information.
Guidance on all the qualified exemptions, 'public interest' and 'prejudice and likelihood' are available below. Guidance on the exemptions may be revised over time.
Further guidance for public authorities is contained in the Code of Practice.
- Section 28 National security and defence
- Section 29 International relations
- Section 30 Economy and commercial interests
- Section 31 Investigations and legal proceedings
- Section 32 Law enforcement
- Section 33 Audit functions
- Section 34 Formulation of policy
- Section 35 Conduct of public business
- Section 36 Health and safety
- Section 37 Research and natural resources
- Section 38 Qualified exempt communications with the Crown
- Section 39 Qualified exempt personal information
- Section 40 Legal professional privilege
- Section 41 Information for future publication
- The public interest
- Prejudice and likelihood