Guildford Pub Bombings series

FOI request reference: F0049933
Publication date: September 2017

Request

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please send me all documents disclosed to the BBC in Freedom of Information requests regarding the Guildford Pub Bombings which took place on 5 October 1974.

Outcome

Successful

Response

Thank you for your enquiry of 9 August 2017, in which you asked for all documents disclosed to the BBC in Freedom of Information requests regarding the Guildford Pub Bombings which took place on 5 October 1974.

Your request

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
Please send me all documents disclosed to the BBC in Freedom of Information requests regarding the Guildford Pub Bombings which took place on 5 October 1974.

Our response

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000. The FOI Act 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.

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide this information to you.

The National Archives holds files related to the Guildford Pub Bombings within the BS 27 series. Below is the list of files related to the Guildford Pub Bombings that have been opened (either in full or in part) following FOI requests to The National Archives for this series:

Redacted open

BS 27/49
BS 27/50
BS 27/51
BS 27/52
BS 27/53
BS 27/54
BS 27/697
BS 27/611
BS 27/631
BS 27/299
BS 27/354

Full open

BS 27/592
BS 27/611
BS 27/754

We are not able to provide details of specific requests, for example the name or organisation of the person who submitted the request, as this is considered to be personal data – being information relating to living identifiable individuals (as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA)).

We would consider that identifying any information released to a specific requester would in itself reveal personal information – i.e. that a request had or hadn’t been made. Therefore in relation to this part of your request and our section 1 obligation to inform you in writing whether we hold information of the description specified in the request, we are applying Section 40 (5) – neither confirm or deny.

Exemption being applied

As explained above, we consider that part of your request falls under Section 40 (5) – Neither confirm nor deny in relation to personal data.

Section 40 is the exemption that covers personal data and subsection (5) provides an exemption to neither confirm or deny whether the information is held:

(i)the giving to a member of the public of the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a) would (apart from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles or section 10 of the M4Data Protection Act 1998 or would do so if the exemptions in section 33A(1) of that Act were disregarded, or

This section of the FOI Act further protects personal data, by ensuring that the processing of the FOI request does not in itself reveal sensitive information:

Section 40(5) (b) (i)

The public authority is not obliged to confirm or deny that it holds information if giving the confirmation or denial to a member of the public would contravene:
• any of the data protection principles; or
• section 10 of the DPA.

This subsection is about the consequences of confirming or denying whether the information is held, and not about the content of the information. The criterion for engaging it is not whether disclosing the information would contravene data protection principles or section 10 of the DPA, but whether confirming or denying that it is held would do so.
Accessing the documents

The above listed documents, which have been released in full or in part, are available to order and view at The National Archives. Below are your options for ordering and viewing the documents:

1. Visiting The National Archives

You are welcome to visit us – please check our website for details of our opening hours and registration requirements: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/visit/before-you-visit.htm

2. Paid search on your behalf

If a personal visit is not convenient you may wish to employ an independent researcher or use our Paid Search service. Details are on our website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/paid_research.htm

If you would prefer to order a copy of the document, please search for the record’s reference number (as provided above) using our catalogue: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/

Then click on the “Order a copy” link and follow the instructions. By following this link you will be able to obtain an estimate of cost before committing to purchase. Full details on how to use our copying service can be found on our website: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/recordcopying/

Please note that copies cannot be ordered until the date the document becomes open (see above).

The information you have been supplied with may contain personal information about another person that falls within the scope of the Data Protection Act 1998. Use of this information must comply with the terms of this Act: www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/29/contents