The House of Commons appealed against four decision notices of the Information Commissioner: in relation to four requests for information seeking (in summary) details of the additional costs allowance claimed by a total of 14 Members of Parliament. The Information Commissioner had ordered that the House publish the total amount claimed divided into heads of claim per year. The applicants cross-appealed, seeking all the information held answering the terms of the request. The House of Commons invoked the exemption granted by s.40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on the basis that it would disclose personal information relating to the MPs and that it would be a breach of the first data protection principle in that none of the conditions in Sch 2 was met.
HELD: Dismissing the House’s appeal and part allowing the applicants’ cross-appeals, there was a significant public interest served in disclosing the information and para 6 of Sch 2 to the Data Protection Act 1998 was satisfied. Accordingly, disclosure would not breach the DPA and the information was accordingly not exempt under the FOIA.