1. Whilst  April  was  a  relatively  quiet  month  on  the  Tribunal  front,  with  no  relevant  decisions  from  the  Upper-­‐ tier  Tribunal (UT),  and  a  limited  number  from the  First-­‐tier  Tribunal  (FTT),  the  pace  picked  up  in  May.     Given   this,  we  have  considered  both  months  together  in  this  edition  of  the  Information  Law  Update.    As  ever,  we   seek  to  highlight  those  which  have  some  general  interest.
    CA  citation.
  2.  We   reported  in  March on   the  Court   of  Appeal   case,  Halliday  v   Creation Consumer  Finance   Ltd,  which  was   unreported   at   the   time.     The   official   citation   is   now   [2013]  EWCA   Civ   333.  The   reported   judgment  makes   clear   that   the   “nominal   damages”   point   was   in   fact   a   concession   by   the   defendant,   rather   than   a   determination  by   the  CA.    The  analysis  of   the  nature  of   the  distress  giving   rise   to   those  damages   remains,   however,  relevant.
    Procedure  – Access  to  disputed  information  by  a  requestor’s  legal  representative  and  closed  proceedings.
  3. Two  cases  considered  when  a  legal  representative is  entitled  to  access  closed  material  and  proceedings.
  4. The   FTT   in  Home   Office   v   ICO   and   others;   John   O   v   ICO (EA/2011/0265/022/0280)   was   asked   to   consider   three   conjoined   and   complex   appeals,   concerning   immigration   control   and   the   application   of   s27(1)   FOIA   (damage  to  international  relations).    The  FTT  upheld  the  Home  Office’s  case,  that  the  release  of  the  names   of   States   on   various   ‘authorisation’   lists,   governing   the   way   in   which   application   to   enter   the  UK   by   their   nationals   would   be   processed,   would   be damaging   to   the  UK’s   international   relations.     Whilst   the   factual   background   is   complex,   the   FTT’s   decision   represents   an   orthodox   application   of   existing   caselaw   on   s27,   FOIA.        The  decision  is  of  further  interest,  however,  as  a  result  of  the  Tribunal’s “Annex  A”,  which  contains  a   robust  rejection  of  Mr  O’s  application  for  his  leading  Counsel  to  be  given  access  to  the  FTT’s  closed  sessions.     Counsel  offered  an  undertaking  that  he  would  not  disclose  the  material  accessed, to  his  client  or  other  third   parties.
  5. The  Tribunal  was  plainly  unimpressed  with  this  application,  and  saw  no  reason  to  agree to  it.    Its  reasons  re-­‐ state  the  special  functions  and  expertise  of  both  the  Tribunal  and  the  Commissioner,  in  analysing  the  public   interests   engaged when disclosing or   withholding confidential   information.      Furthermore,   it   added,   the   request  disclosed  a  lack  of  “consistent  principle”:  why  should  a  requester  who  was  legally  represented  have   access  to  such  closed  material,  whilst  one  who  acted  in  person would  not?
  6. Meanwhile,  the  UT  was  considering  this  same point  in  In  Browning  v  ICO [2013]  UKUT  0236  (AAC),  (Charles,   J,  Mitting,  J  and  UT  Judge  Andrew  Bartlett  QC).    Mr  Browning  appealed  from  the  FTT’s decision  upholding  a   refusal  by   the  Department   for  Business,  Innovation  and  Skills   to  disclose  information   regarding  companies   applying   for  export   control  licenses   to  Iran.    In   reaching   that   decision,   the  FTT   considered   closed  material   (including   not   only the   disputed   information   but   DBIS’   evidence   supporting   its   refusal)   and   part   of   the   hearing  was  closed.    Mr  Browning  appealed  to  the  Upper  Tribunal  on  seven  grounds.    However  it  is  only  the   Upper   Tribunal’s   consideration   of   his   first   ground   of   appeal,   that   the   FTT   erred   in   law   in   refusing   his   application  that  his  legal  representatives  be  allowed  to  represent  him  at  the  closed  hearing  on  the  basis  of   undertakings  relating  to  disclosure,  that  is  of  real significance.
  7. Mr  Browning  argued  that  the  principles  of  open  and  natural  justice,  and  of  fairness,  should,  in  the  context  of   adversarial   civil   litigation,   be   departed   from   to   the   least   extent   possible.      Allowing   legal   representatives   access  to  closed  material,  including  the  material  in  support  of  DBIS’  reliance  on  the  exemption,  as  well  as  to   attend  the  closed  hearing,  would  be  a  way  to  minimise  this  departure.      The  UT rejected  this  argument.    It   noted that   the   function   of   the   FTT is   investigatory   and   that   non-­‐disclosure   is   the   baseline in   the   FOIA   process,   in   that   information is   withheld   from   the   requestor   until   it   has   been   determined   that   it   may   be   revealed.    From  this,  it  concluded  that  the  exercise  by  the  FTT of  its  discretion  to  consider  closed  materials   and  hold  a  closed  hearing  is  not  governed  directly,  or  by  analogy,  by  the  approach  taken  by  the  civil  courts.     Further,  disclosure   to  representatives  alone  created  a  number  of  problems,  reflected  in   the  case  law.    The   UT   upheld   the   FTT’s   decision   to   refuse   the   application.      The   UT  stated that   the   FTT should   direct   that   a   representative   of   an   excluded   party   see   closed   material   or   attend   a   closed   hearing   only   where   it   cannot   carry   out   its   investigatory   function   of   considering   and   testing   the   closed   material,   and   give   appropriate   reasons   for   its   decision.         Following   these   decisions,   it   is   difficult   to   imagine a   situation   where   such   an   application  would  be  met  with  success.
  8. The   rulings   follow   established   precedent,   but   it   will   relieve   public   authorities   concerned   that   release   to   a   party’s  representative  could,  even  inadvertently,  lead  to  the  ‘leaking’  of  sensitive  material  that  had  properly   been  withheld  from  disclosure.
  9. While  the  UT  in  Browning did not  issue  further,  formal  guidance  on  closed  proceedings,  it  made  a  number  of   important   points   which   should   be   considered   by   parties   involved   in   FOIA   litigation   where   closed  material   and  hearings are at  issue.    The  Upper  Tribunal  noted  that  the  First-­‐tier  Tribunal  has issued  a  Practice  Note   entitled  “Closed  Material  in  Information  Rights  Cases”  and  expressed   the  view   that  closed  hearings  should   only  proceed  on  its  terms.    The  UT  stated  that  the  need  to  avoid  disclosure  of  the  requested  information  is  a   good   reason   for   there   being   closed  material  and  a   closed   hearing,   but   not   the   only  valid   reason   to   do   so.     Finally,   the   UT   stated   that   the   FTT   should   give   detailed   directions   and   reasons   when   ordering   the   use   of   closed  material  and  hearings.  
    Information  “held” and  independent  reviews  or  inquiries.  
  10. David  Holland  v  ICO   and   the  University   of  East  Anglia (EA/2012/0098)   contains  an up-­‐to-­‐date   summary   of   the   caselaw on   when   information   is   “held”,   both   under   FOIA   and   the   EIRs.      The   dispute   arose   out   of   the   “Climategate”  scandal  at  the  UEA,  in  which members  of  the  UEA’s  Climate  Research  Group  were accused  of   manipulating   data   on   climate   change   to   support   their   views   on global   warning.      The   UEA   had   set   up   an   inquiry  to  investigate  the  scandal,  and  the  Appellant  sought,  from  UEA,  the  working  papers  of  that  inquiry.     The  University  maintained  that  it  had  no  control  over  the  workings  of  thereview,  which  was  independent  of   it,  and  argued  that  the  papers were  therefore  not  “held”  by  it  within  the  meaning  of  the  EIRs.      
  11. The  debate  over  the  control  – or  lack  of  it  – which  the  University  had  over  the  inquiry’s  papers  would  plainly   have   been   assisted   by   a   contract between   those   two   parties covering   the   issue   of   data   retention   and   storage; or,   failing   that, at   least   some   prior   discussion   of   the   issue.      But   this   had   not   taken   place.         The   Tribunal  expressed  its  surprise  that  experienced  public  servants  had  not,  it  seemed,  thought  to  discuss  what   the  arrangements  for  storage  and  archiving  of  the  inquiry’s  documents  would  be,  as  part  of  the  process  of   setting  up  the  review.    
  12. Whilst  in   the  event   the  FTT  nevertheless  accepted   that   the   review  was  genuinely  independent  of   the  UEA   and   that   the   University   did   not   “hold”   its   papers,   the   litigation   is   a useful reminder   to   discuss   and   agree   arrangements  for  data  retention  and  storage,  when  setting  up  any  form  of  independent  review  of  aspects  of   public  administration.   The  National  Archives  publish  detailed  guidance  on  the  information  management  of   public  inquiries,  and  the  Archives  preserve inquiry  records;  but  there  are  many  small  reviews  and  inquiries   which  are  not  established  under  the Inquiries  Act  2005  and  which  are  not  governed  by  these arrangements.
    Personal  Data.    
  13. The   vexed   subject   of   salary   details   continues   to   generate   cases.         In   Dicker   v   ICO (EA/2012/0250 1 ),      the   Information   Commissioner found   his   approach   overruled   by   the   FTT.      The   ICO   generally   considers   it   sufficient  to publish  information  about  salaries  by  disclosing  the  ‘bands’  into  which  even  senior  civil  servants   fall,  and,  when  dealing  with  a  request  for  details  of  the  salary,  pensions  and  benefits  paid  to  the  CEO  of  NHS   Surrey   (a  Primary  Care  Trust),    issued  a  Decision    Notice  reflecting  this  approach.  It  was  overturned  by  the   FTT.    The  FTT  was  influenced   by   the   fact   that   the  arrangements   for   payment  were   not   “as   transparent  as   might   be   wished”;   it   was   not   clear   whether   national   pay   guidance   had   been   followed.      Of   note   is   their   finding  that  the  release  of  precise  pay  details  (as  opposed  to  ‘banded’  figures)  was  highly  unlikely  to  cause   any  distress  or  prejudice  to  a  senior  public  servant.  
    Section  36  and  Parish  Politics.
  14. Robust  determinations upon  the  importance  of  public  scrutiny  were delivered  by  the  FTT  in the  linked  cases   of James   Scott   v  ICO EA/2012/0219   and   Frohnsdorff   v  ICO (EA/2012/0213).   Both   cases concerned   a   parish   council   in   turmoil,   following   an   election   in   2011,   in   which   six   individuals   who   opposed   a   planned   development   on   green   land   adjoining   the   village   of  Great   Chart,   Kent,   were   elected   as   parish   councillors.     They  did  not  take  up  their  seats  after  being  informed  by  the  Parish  Clerk  that  their  manifesto  commitments   would  restrict  their  ability  to  vote  on  this  planned  development,  and  they  might  be  fined  if  they  voted  when   they   ought   not   to.      (Students   of   local   democracy   may   be   permitted   a   wry   smile,   at   this   point).         An   information   request   was   subsequently   made,   for   any   correspondence   between   the   Borough Council,   and   the   Parish   Council’s   Clerk  and   Chairman,  in   relation   to   these  events.    It  was   rejected,   on   the   basis   of   s36,   FOIA.    The  Information  Commissioner  accepted  that  disclosure  would  ‘be  likely  to  inhibit  the  free  and  frank   provision  of  advice’  (s36(2)(b))  and  that  the  public  interest  favoured  withholding  the  information.
  15. The  FTT  reversed  that  decision.    They  rejected,  first,  an  argument  that  officials  of  the  Parish  Council  and  the   Borough  Council  could  reasonably  have  expected  their  correspondence  to  be  private  and  confidential,  given   that   they   were   acting   in   their   official   roles,   and   that   they   should   have   known   of   the   legal   obligations   of   transparency   and   that   s36   was   not   an   absolute   exemption.      The   FTT gave   short  shrift   to   arguments   that   disclosure   of   such   informal   communications   would   invite   speculation   and   heighten   tensions.      Even   if   the   contents   of   the  emails  were   ill-­‐expressed   or  ambiguous,   the   public   should   be  able   to  judge   the   issues   for   themselves.         The   purpose   of   s36   was   not   to   prevent   embarrassment.      Overall,   the   public   interest   lay   in   enabling  a  better  understanding  of  the  actions  of  officials  during  a  time  of  controversy.
    Vexatious Requests.
  16. The  Information  Commissioner  has  published  detailed  guidance  on  vexatious  requests.  Pursuant  to s14(1)  of   FOIA,  public  authorities  do  not  have  to  comply  with  vexatious  requests.    The  guidance  confirms  that  s  14(1)   is  not  for  use  only  in  extreme  circumstances.      Rather,  a  request  can  be  categorised  as  vexatious  in  generally   two   circumstances:   (1)   those   that   are   so   patently   unreasonable   or   objectionable   that   they   are   obviously   vexatious;   and   (2)   those   that   are   likely   to   cause   a   disproportionate   or   unjustified   level   of   disruption,   irritation  or  distress.    This  should  be  determined  by  weighing  the  evidence  about  the  impact  on  the  authority   and  balancing   this  against   the  purpose  and  value  of   the   request.    Wider  background   factors,  including   the   history  and  context  of  the  request,  can  be  taken  into  account.    Whilst  there  is  no  traditional  public  interest   test  under  s  14(1),  the  wider  public  interest  should  be  taken  into  account  when  considering  the  purpose  and   value   of   a   request.         Finally,   s14(1)   can   only   be   applied   to   the   request   itself   and   not   the   individual   who   submitted  it.
  17. Other   “hot   topics”   considered   are   requests   that   are   particularly   costly   in   terms   of   the   amount   of   time   required   to   review  and   prepare   the  information   for   disclosure,   round   robin   requests  and   random   request   (“fishing  expeditions”).    The  guidance  is  peppered  with  helpful  examples  and arather  longer list  of  indicative   characteristics  of  potentially  vexatious   requests.    Any  authority  considering  whether  or  not  a   request  may   fall  within  s14(1)  should  consider  this  guidance  early  on  in  their  decision-­‐making  process.  
    Unpublished  University
  18. Draft  scientific  research  has  been  the  subject  of  two  recent  cases,  as  well  as  proposed  legislation.
  19. In  Stephen  McIntyre  v  ICO,  EA/2012/0156,UEA  and  Climategate  featured  again.    A request  was  made  to  the   UEA under   the   EIRs for   a   draft   academic   paper   written   by   climate   change   experts, in   the   wake   of   the   Climategate  scandal.    One  of  the  co-­‐authors  objected  to  the  release  of  the  draft  paper  on  the  basis  that  “it  is   not  helpful,  and  may  be  misleading  or  confusing  to  release  versions  of  non-­‐finalised  documents”.  The  UEA   therefore   refused   to   disclose   the   document,   a   decision   which   was   upheld   by   the  IC   on   the   basis   that   the   paper   fell   within   the   scope   of   exceptions   to   the   duty   to   disclose   environmental   information,   namely   that   disclosure  would  adversely  affect  the  interests  of  the  authors  (regulation  12(5)(f))  and  the  request  related  to   material  still  in  the  course  of  completion  (regulation  12(4)(d)).  
  20. The  FTT found  that  regulation  12(5)(f)  was  not  engaged,  rejecting  the  University’s  argument  that  disclosure   of  draft  papers  could  be  damaging   to   the   reputation  of  academics  or  publication  of   the  draft  paper  would   undermine   the   final   published   position.   However,   the   FTT found   that   the   exception   under   regulation   12(4)(d)  was  engaged,  it  being  clear  that  requested  document  was  in  draft  form  and  not  the  finished  article.   It   went   on   to   find   that   the   public   interest   in  maintaining   the   exception   outweighed   the   public   interest   in   disclosing  the  information given  the  value  in  allowing  a  safe  space  for  work  to  be  developed  and  completed.
  21. The  FTT’s reasoning,  in   particular  its   dismissal   of  a   range   of  arguments  in   favour   of   nondisclosure   of   draft   academic  papers,  suggests  that  there  may  be cases where  a  public  interest  in  disclosure  of  a  draft  academic   paper  could  be  identified.    However,  in  this  case  the  FTT found  that  the  Appellant  had  failed  to  demonstrate   any   value   in   publishing   the   requested   information,   given   that   all   the  material   contained   in   the   requested   document   was   in   the   public   domain   by   way   of   the   final   published   article.   There   was   therefore   no   public   interest  in  favour  of  disclosure  to  weigh  against  the  public  interest  in  favour  of  nondisclosure.  
  22. In  Queen  Mary   University   of London   v   ICO EA/2012/0229,  Mr   Courtney   sought   disclosure   of   unpublished   research  data.    The  University  refused  the  request,  relying  upon  s22  FOIA (information  intended   for   future   publication).      The   ICO   decided   that   whilst   s22   FOIA was   engaged,   the   public   interest   lay   in   disclosing   the   withheld   information.         The   University   appealed.      The   questions which   fell   to   be   decided   were if   it   was   reasonable  for  the  information  to  be  withheld  until  the  date  of  intended  publication,  and  whether  the  public   interest  in  maintaining   the  exemption   outweighed   the   public  interest  in   disclosure.    As   to   the   former,   the   Tribunal  found  that  there  was  a  clear  plan  for  publication  of  the  data  in  the  future,  and  that  therefore  it  was   reasonable  to  withhold  the  information  until  the  date  of  publication.  Turning  to  the  public  interest,  the  FTT   noted  that  much  value  in  research  data  comes  from  the  contextualisation  of  that  data  as  well  as  the  rigour   of   the  peer   review  progress.    Given   this,   the  Tribunal   found   that   the  disclosure  of   this  data,  in  advance  of   that  process,  would  not  be  in  the  public  interest,  and  that  s22  FOIA was properly  applied.  
  23. The  Commissioner initially  resisted  the  appeal.    However,  his  position  changed  after  receiving  full  argument   from   the  University   regarding   the  basis   for   their   reliance  on  s22;  at   that  point  he  accepted   that   the  public   interest  lay  in  maintaining  the  exemption.    At  the  end of  the decision, the  FTT reminded  authorities  that  the   burden  of  showing  that  an  exemption  is  properly  applied  rests  on  the  public  authority.    The  Tribunal  went  on   to  caution  authorities  that  not  providing  sufficient  information  to  the  ICO  at  the  early  stages  of  a  contested   request,  as  a  means  of  allocating  scarce  resources,  is  often  a  false  economy.
  24. 24. An  Intellectual  Property  Bill, 2 introducing  a  new  FOIA  exemption,  has  been  introduced  in  the  House  of  Lords.     Clause   19   of   the   Bill   would   exempt   continuing programmes   of   research,   like   that   at   issue   in  Queen  Mary   University   of   London, intended   for   future   publication   (specifically   information   obtained   in   the   course   of  a   programme  of  research  if  the  programme  is  continuing  with  a  view  to  publication  of  that  research  and  early   disclosure  would  be  likely  to  prejudice  the  programme  or  related  interests).    
    CommercialInterests.
  25. The  Tribunal  considered  the  meaning  of  commercial  interests   (s43(2)),  as  well  as  public  affairs   (s36(2(c)) in   DWP   v   ICO,   EA/2012/0207,   0232 &   0233.      The   matter   involved   three   consolidated   appeals   arising   out   of   various   employment   programmes   run   by   the   DWP,   whereby   jobseekers   undertake   placements,   without   additional   remuneration,  as  a  means  of  gaining  work  experience (often   referred   to  as  “workfare”).    These   workfare   programmes   have   been controversial   and   the   subject   of   critical   press   commentary.      Here,   the   requesters sought   the   names   of   the   companies   participating   in   the   programmes.      DWP   resisted,   arguing   either   that  s43(2)   (commercial   interests)   or   s   36(2)(c)   (effective   conduct   of   public   affairs) were   engaged.     Essentially,   DWP   argued   that   disclosure   of   placement  hosts would  be   likely   to  result   in  those   hosts   being   targeted  by  campaign  groups  and  many  of  them  withdrawing  from  the  workfare  programmes,  as  a  result  of   real  or  perceived  public  pressure.  The  IC  required  the  DWP  to  provide  the  requested  information and  DWP   appealed.
  26. The  FTT found  that  s43(2)  was  not  engaged  on  the  facts;  DWP  had  not  satisfied  the  burden  of  demonstrating   that disclosure   would   lead   to the   requisite   “degree   of   prejudice”.   To   assess   that   prejudice,   the   FTT considered  what   had   happened  when  placement   hosts’ had   been   disclosed in   the   past,  and  whether that   disclosure  had  led  to  any withdrawals from  the  workfare  schemes.    The  Tribunal  found  that  there  was  little   persuasive  evidence  that  the  mere  naming  of  placement  hosts  in  the  past.    From  this,  the  Tribunal  held  that   there   was   insufficient  evidence   to  establish   that   the  mere naming   of  placement   hosts was   likely   to   cause   them sufficient  risk  of  commercial prejudice  to  engage  s43(2).    Section  43(2)  was  not  engaged  in  relation  to   DWP  because  any  risk  to  the  DWP  (having  to  pay  more  in  welfare  payments)  was  financial,  not  commercial   and  thusirrelevant  to  the  exemption.
  27. The FTT found   that   while   s   36(2)   was   engaged,   the   public   interest   balance  militated   strongly   in   favour   of   disclosure.  As  to  section  36(2),  the  Tribunal  considered  the  time  of  the  relevant  requests  and  held  that the   relevant  public  interest  was   the  one   reflected  in  or  exhibited  by   the specific  exemption  in  question,  which   did   not   include   private   interests   (here   the   contractors’   and   placement   hosts’   interests   were   private).      In   ordering  disclosure,  the  Tribunal  considered,  again,  the  little  concrete  evidence  that  disclosure  would  result   in   a   loss   of   providers   against   the   fact   that   the   workfare   programmes   involved   a   considerable   amount   of   public   money   and   consequent   need   for   the   public   to   be   able   to   make   informed   decisions   about   those   schemes.  
  28. This  case  reflects  the  FTT’s  insistence  on  firm  evidence  to  support  reliance  on  s43(2).    Here,  a  DWP  survey  of   the   attitude   towards   disclosure   of   the   contractors,   sub-­‐contractors   and   organisations   involved   in   the   workfare schemes  was  considered  to  be  of  little  weight;  rather  the  FTT  focused  on  what  had  actually  been   happened,  in  the  past, when  placement  hosts had  been  named.    Those  hoping  to  rely  on  43(2)  in  the  future   must  bear  this  in  mind  and  ensure  that  there is sufficient  concrete  evidence  to  support  their position.
    EU  Data  Protection  Reforms.
  29. The  ICO  recent report   on   the   proposed  European   data   protection   reforms 3 has  found   that   there  is  a   clear   lack  of  understanding across  business  of  those  proposals  and  their  potential  implications.  Based  on  a  survey of  506  businesses,  the  report  concluded that  a  large  majority  of  respondents  were  unable  to  quantify  future   additional  compliance  costs  as  a   result  of   the  proposals,  although  most  agree   that   there  will  be  additional   costs.    Respondents  were  uncertain about the  scope  of  the  proposals,  as  well  as  implications  on  current  data   protection  practice  and  compliance.  The  key  sectors  identified  as  needing   to  be   targeted  with  information   about  the  plans  were  the  service  sector  (specifically  health  and  social  work),  financial  and  insurance  services   and  public  administration.   
    Investigations
  30. The Tribunal’s  decision  in  Dudgeon v  IC (EA/2012/0113) illustrates   the  breadth  of   the  exception  under  s30   FOIA, in   relation   to  information  held  by  a  public  body   for   the  purpose of  investigations.    The appeal  arose   out  of  a  request  made  to  the  Police  Service  of  Northern  Ireland  (‘PSNI’)  for  information  concerning  the  terms   of  reference  of  a  panel appointed  to  oversee  Operation  Stafford  (formerly  known  as  Operation  Ballast),  an   investigation  into  murders  and  other  crimes  committed  by  the  Ulster  Volunteer  Force  in  North  Belfast.  The   appellant   had   expressed   particular   concerns   about   the   appointment   to   the   panel.   The   PSNI   refused   to   disclose information  in  reliance  on  s 30  FOIA  2000  and  refused  to  confirm  or  deny  whether  it  held  any  other   relevant  information  in  reliance  on  ss 23(5)  and  24(2)  FOIA,  decisions  upheld  by  the  IC.    
  31. The  appellant  argued  that  he  had not  requested information  gathered  as  part  of  the  investigation, but  rather   information  relating  to  the  remit  and  powers  of  the  oversight  panel.    The  FTT recognised  the  genuine  nature   of  the  request  was  to  establish  the  transparency  and  accountability  in  the  appointments  made  to  the  panel   in   question.  It   concluded,   however,   that   the   oversight   panel  was  an   integral   part   of   the   investigation  and   that  s30  was  therefore  engaged.  The  public  interest  weighed  overwhelmingly  in  favour  of  nondisclosure:  it   could   undermine   the   current   investigation,   would   impede   the   building   of   confidence   and   trust   with   the   families  of  victims  and  could  create  a  chilling factor  inhibiting  the  use  of  similar  panels  in  the  future.  
  32. This  decision  is  a  clear  illustration  of  the  potential  breadth  of  the  exception  under  section  30  in  relation  to   investigations.   The   Tribunal   held   that   it   encompassed   not   only   operational   matters   but   also   the remit   of   oversight   panel.   Nondisclosure   of   information   about   the   panel   was   justified   not   only   on   the   basis   that   it   could   undermine   the   current   investigation,   but   also   on   the   ground   that   it   could   inhibit   the   use   of   similar   panels   in   the   future   if   members   of   the   panels   would   be   discouraged   from   participation.   The   Tribunal’s   approach   might   appear   surprisingly   broadbrush,   particularly   given   the   narrow   scope   of   the   appellant’s   request.  However,   the   particular   context   of   the   case   is   important.   The   panel   was   principally   appointed   in   order  to  address  concerns  of  the  victims’  families.  It  played  no  part  in  carrying  out  investigations  and  their   appointment   was   made   for   the   purpose   of   ensuring   the   families   of   victims   had   confidence   in   the   investigation.  
    Health  and  Social  Care  Act.
  33. Data   breach   complaints   against   organisations   that   have   been   dismantled   under   the   UK   Health   and   Social   Care  Act  will  be  transferred to  new  NHS  organisations.  The  Health  and  Social  Care  Act  came  into  force  on  1st   April  2013.  The  ICO  has  said  that  investigation  and  enforcement  actions  will  be  continued  against,  and  that   fines   may   be   imposed   on, new   NHS   bodies   if   they   had   taken   over   data   responsibilities   from   disbanded   organisations.