Display boards for the Power & The People Boards within the Keepers Gallery

FOI request reference: F0043498
Publication date: October 2015


Information withheld


I would like to know who wrote the Display Boards for the Power & The People Boards in the Keeper’s Gallery

I am especially concerned with the tendentious content of the Board on Power & the People and on Empire & Colonialism. I assume the same person was responsible.

The Boards have a number of significant errors and omissions and, in my view, show a wilful misreading of British history. The content is not appropriate to the Keeper’s Gallery and it lacks the balance of the National Archive’s own website.

I would like a reassurance about the background, work and suitability of the person (or persons) for such an Exhibition.   



Thank you for your enquiry of 2 October in which you asked for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000.

FOIA gives you the right to know whether we hold the information you want and to have it communicated to you, subject to any exemptions which may apply. FOIA applies to recorded information held by a public authority. It does not require a public authority to create new information or give an opinion or judgment that is not already recorded. In view of this, and for the avoidance of doubt, we are able to provide an FOIA response to the following questions:

  • Who wrote the Display Boards for the Power & The People Boards in the Keeper’s Gallery?
  • Was the same person responsible for the content of the two boards, Power & the People and on Empire & Colonialism
  • What qualifications (background, work) does the author/s of these boards have to make them suitable for such an exhibition?

Our response

The National Archives is unable to disclose the information you have requested as it constitutes personal data under FOI. All of the information is exempt under section 40 (2) (by virtue of section 40 (3) (a) (i)) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This means that we cannot make the information available to you under FOIA.

Section 40 exempts personal information about a ‘third party’ (someone other than the requester), if revealing it would breach 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. Junior members of staff would have no expectation that information about their positions would be made available in the public domain; to do so would be unfair and contravene the first data protection principle of the DPA 1998.

At The National Archives we have applied the general principle that members of staff at Head of Department level and above are sufficiently senior for their names and/or job titles to already be in the public domain and are therefore not exempt from release, while publishing the names of junior members of staff would be considered an unfair use of personal data. As such, the names and positions of junior officials are withheld under section 40(2) of the FOIA.

For more information about the publication of junior staff names, please see the following link:


For more general information about the section 40 exemption, please see the following link:


As you know, if you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:

Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives


Please mark your complaint clearly.  You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint.  However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Yours sincerely,

FOI Request Manager
Freedom of Information Centre
Transfer and Access Department
The National Archives