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Freedom of Information Act 2000

Section 35: Formulation of Government policy etc.

126.Subsection (1) provides that information held by a government department or by the National Assembly for Wales is exempt, as a class, if it relates to the formulation or development of government policy, ministerial communications, Law Officers’ advice or the operation of a Ministerial private office.

127.Subsection (2) provides that once a decision as to government policy has been taken, any statistical information used to provide an informed background to that decision cannot be exempt information by virtue of subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b). Such statistical information could be exempt under section 36.

128.Subsection (3) provides that the duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to information which is exempt by virtue of subsection (1).

129.Subsection (4) requires that a public authority must have regard to the particular public interest, when making any determination under section 2 in relation to information exempt by virtue of subsection (1)(a), in the disclosure of factual information which has, or is intended to be used, to provide an informed background to decision taking.

130.Subsection (5) clarifies that "government policy" includes the policy of the Executive Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly and the policy of the National Assembly for Wales and defines “the Law Officers”, “Ministerial communications” and “Ministerial private office” for the purposes of this section.

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