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Intellectual Property Act 2014

Section 20: Freedom of Information: exemption for research

89.Section 20 inserts a new section 22A into the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). New subsection (1) of section 22A exempts, for the purposes of the FOIA, information obtained in the course of, or derived from, a continuing programme of research, a report of which research is intended for future publication, if the disclosure of the information before the publication date would, or would be likely to, prejudice a matter listed in subsection (1)(b).

90.By virtue of section 22A not being included in the list of absolute exemptions in section 2(3) of FOIA, it is also subject to the requirement that in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption must outweigh the public interest in disclosing the information.

91.Subsection (2) of section 22A provides that the public authorities are not required under section 1(1)(a) of the FOIA to confirm or deny that information which is exempt information under section 22A is held if, or to the extent that, compliance with section 1(1)(a) would, or would be likely to, prejudice any of the matters mentioned in subsection (1)(b) of section 22A.

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