Did you know the ICO publishes Guidances on the exemptions and other key provisions in the PATI Act? Each Guidance discusses a specific exemption or other key provision in the PATI Act. The Guidances provide background context on the relevant provision and the applicable tests to be applied for that provision, including the questions that the Information Commissioner will ask when considering whether a provision is engaged. The Guidances are designed to assist public authorities in their decision making and to assist requesters in understanding how key provisions will be interpreted and applied by the Information Commissioner.
The Guidances on exemptions and key provisions can be found here.
The ICO has also published Guidances for reviews and compliance investigations here.
The latest Guidance we published was after the September 2023 cyber security incident:
- Interim Guidance: Continuity of PATI processes following September 2023 Cyber Security Incident. This is a practical resource for public officers as they manage the impact of the cyber security incident on their ability to locate public records in response to a PATI request. It is also helpful for requesters to understand how public authorities may respond to requests where the underlying records are not accessible or have been impacted by the cyber security incident.
In addition, the following Guidances were recently updated:
- Operation of public authorities exemptions (section 30).These exemptions apply when disclosure of a record (or part of a record) would have a specific harmful impact upon the operations of a public authority. All of the exemptions in section 30 are qualified exemptions, which means that they are subject to the public interest test.
- The public interest test (section 21). This Guidance explains how to carry out the public interest test where a qualified exemption is engaged.