Infected blood enquiry

FOI request reference: F0055507
Publication date: May 2019

Request

Copies of all correspondence (this includes both physical and digital) to AND from the Infected Blood Inquiry since 1st January 2018 to present day.

Outcome

No information held

Response

With the agreement of the Qualified Person (for The National Archives this is our CEO and Keeper), in whose reasonable opinion this exemption is engaged,
the public interest has now been concluded and the balance of the public interest has largely been found to fall in favour of withholding the information
covered by the section 36(2) (b-c) exemption.

Considerations in favour of the release of the information included the principle that there is a public interest in showing a true and open account of government
decision-making, making for greater accountability and increasing public confidence in political life. Understanding how government works with public inquiries
and specifically for The National Archives, how we advise on records management is important for transparency and for trust in the public record,
and future collections to be held and accessed at The National Archives.

Through consultation internally and externally, we have established that within the information we hold, a small amount of information would cause prejudicial
effects if released. The section 36 exemption has therefore been applied to protect a small amount of information from release, from within the redacted e-mails.

Release of this information would be seen to prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs (section 36) by preventing the effective function of working
with the Infected Blood Inquiry. It must be open to us to communicate confidentially in order to manage the process of sharing information and providing advice
on managing records/information. While this is on-going, the need to ensure effective communications outweighs any benefits of disclosure at this current time.