Section 31 (1) (g) – Law Enforcement
Section 31 (1) (g) provides an exemption from the ‘right to know’, if
disclosure of the information would or would be likely to prejudice the
exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes
specified in subsection (2).
We consider that disclosure of documents relating to CAA’s allegations,
would be likely to prejudice the Commission’s ability to carry out the
following functions as set out in subsection 2:
(a) ascertaining whether any person has failed to comply with the law
(b) ascertaining whether any person is responsible for any conduct which
(c) ascertaining whether circumstances which would justify regulatory
action in pursuance of any enactment exist or may arise.
This is because disclosure of information relating to an ongoing
investigation could influence relevant parties’ responses to the
Commission’s enquiries. This in turn may hinder the Commission’s ability
to ascertain whether there are circumstances which would justify
regulatory action in pursuance of the Equality Act.
Additionally, disclosure of correspondence between the Commission and
organisations may erode trust and lead to organisations being less open
in their interactions with the Commission.
It is essential that for the Commission to perform its role as a regulator
effectively, we ensure that our ability to obtain relevant information is not
As section 31 is a qualified exemption we have considered whether the
public interest lies in maintaining the exemption or disclosing the
Factors in Favour of Disclosure
1. Presumption under the Freedom of Information Act of disclosure.
2. Significant public interest in the Commission’s investigation on
Factors in Favour of Maintaining the Exemption (i.e. Non-
1. As a regulator we must be able to consider areas of concern within
a ‘safe space’ to allow for a considered and proportionate
2. Disclosure could adversely affect the Commission’s ability to carry
out effective pre-enforcement work.
3. Disclosure could prejudice the exercise of our functions by
decreasing the amount of information supplied voluntarily from
organisations. Third parties must feel confident to share
information freely with the Commission.
On balance, we have concluded that the public interest in maintaining the
exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information. This
is because we consider there is a stronger public interest in the
Commission being able to exercise its statutory functions under the
Equality Act 2006 effectively.
It is essential that the Commission is able to effectively monitor,
investigate and ascertain compliance with the equality laws and to work
with others to encourage and promote good practice and compliance with