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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Part IV: Enforcement

15.This enables an applicant who is not satisfied with the response by a public authority to a request for information to apply to the Commissioner for a decision on whether the authority has acted in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Subject to certain conditions, for example, the exhaustion of other means of complaint, the Commissioner is under a duty to reach a decision.

16.This part of the Act also describes the investigative and enforcement powers of the Commissioner. The Commissioner’s powers of entry and inspection are set out in Schedule 3. It confirms that the Act does not give rise to any right of action against public authorities for breach of statutory duty. This part also provides for the circumstances in which a certificate may be issued by an accountable person in respect of a decision notice or enforcement notice issued by the Commissioner in respect of the disclosure of exempt information. The effect of such a certificate is that a public authority need not comply with the Commissioner’s notice.

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