Some categories of information are completely excluded from your rights of access - for example, documents prepared for court cases.
Other information may be exempt in some cases, for example if the authority can prove there would be real and significant damage to the authority or other people if the information was made public. This may include:
- Commercially sensitive information
- Information which might endanger someone's health and safety
In these circumstances, the public authority must also consider whether it would be in the "public interest" for the information to be released. If the benefit to the public is greater than the harm to the authority or other people affected, the authority must release the information.
In deciding whether it is in the public interest to provide information, the authority should not take into account:
- The possibility of embarrassing officials
- Possible loss of confidence in the authority
- The seniority of the people involved
- The risk of you misinterpreting the information