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Health and Safety Executive: Freedom of Information

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which requests for information received by the Health and Safety Executive under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in 2008 were (a) classified as not resolvable and (b) refused in full. (286131)

In 2008 HSE received a total of 6,516 requests for information under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI).

1,882 of these requests were classed as ‘information not held’, and therefore were not resolvable by HSE. The main reasons for this are that information was held by another public authority; or the requests relate to an incident that had not been reported to HSE.

A further 966 requests for information were withheld in full. Many of these requests were in relation to ongoing investigations, where the release of such information could affect the outcome of HSE's investigation. In these cases the exemption in Section 30 of FOI is applied.

HSE does not have a mechanism to easily identify all of the specific reasons why requests were not resolved or withheld in full, except by reviewing each individual case, which could be provided only at disproportionate cost/effort.