Access to Public Records

FOI request reference: F0049922
Publication date: September 2017

Request

Please provide a list of all persons and/or institutions (with identities redacted if necessary according to FOI guidelines) denied access to open public records held either at TNA or at a recognised place of deposit during the period 2000 – August 2017, including in each case the reason for the denial of access.

Outcome

Successful

Response

I can confirm that The National Archives (TNA) holds some information relevant to your request and we are please to be able to provide some of this information to you below. We do not hold information about persons denied access to open public records at any other institution other than TNA.

We have interpreted your request to mean all persons permanently denied access to records held at TNA. Between 2000 and 2017, TNA has denied access to four individuals as follows:

• 2006 Lifetime ban – Inappropriate behaviour
• 2007 Lifetime ban – Attempt to insert non original material into the archive
• 2007 Lifetime ban – Theft of archival material
• 2017 Lifetime ban – Attempt to remove archival material from the reading room at TNA and failing to provide a valid response when challenged

We are unable to provide you with the identities of these individuals because this information is covered by the exemption at section 40 (2) of the FOI Act, which exempts personal information about a ‘third party’ (someone other than the requester), if revealing it would break the terms of the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998. The DPA prevents personal information from release if it would be unfair or at odds with the reason why it was collected, or where the subject had officially served notice that releasing it would cause them damage or distress.

In this case the exemption applies because these individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy which would not include the release of this information into the public domain during their lifetime. To do so would be a breach of the first data protection principle which is concerned with the fair and lawful processing of personal information of this kind.

Further guidance on section 40 can be found at:
http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guidance_index/~/media/documents/library/Freedom_of_Information/Detailed_specialist_guides/personal-information-section-40-and-regulation-13-foia-and-eir-guidance.pdf