Dear Charity Commission for England and Wales,
Please would you give me details of correspondence between the Charity Commission and West Coker Commemoration Fund (Ch no:286984)and West Coker parishioners regarding West Coker Recreation Club within the last five years?
18th July 2011
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Dear Mr Hester
Our Ref: JL/C-331533-3ZD7/SCW
WEST COKER COMMEMORATION FUND Reg No:286984
Thank you for your emails of 16 and 18 July in relation to the above
charity. Both emails fall to be dealt with under the provisions of the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI).
You have asked for the following:
1. what the Charity Commission had to say about WCRC's illegality; and
2. for details of correspondence between the Charity Commission and West
Coker Commemoration Fund and West Coker parishioners regarding West
Coker Recreation Club within the last five years.
Under the FOI, our duty is to provide information we hold on request,
rather than an actual copy of documents which contain the information. In
some cases we may consider that it is reasonable to supply the information
in that form, and then only in so far as we are not precluded from
disclosure under Data protection legislation or FOI exemptions against
As there are is a considerable amount of information, I have produced a
table which shows which annex each piece of correspondence refers to,
including any additional exemptions applied other than Section 40(2). I
have reproduced the information contained in the documents rather than
sending copies of the actual documents for ease of reference. You will
note there are 2 separate documents, this is because we have already been
asked to provide correspondence within the last two years and this is
contained in one document. The additional three years you have requested
is covered in the other document.
Information has been removed in all cases under Section 40(2). I have
concluded that 2 other exemptions apply to some of the information you
have requested as indicated.
Below is an explanation of the exemptions that apply:-
S40(2) - You will note that we have removed references to third parties in
all documents. This is because this information is exempt from disclosure
under the absolute exemption contained in s40(2) of the FOI and further
explained in section 40(3)(a). S40(2) and (3)(a)(i) of the FOI Act
provides that any information to which a request for information relates
is exempt information if-
(a) it constitutes personal data (where the applicant is not the subject
of the data), and
(b) that the disclosure of the information to a member of the public
otherwise than under the FOI Act would contravene any of the data
protection principles under the Data protection Act 1998 (DPA)
The Commission considers that the information withheld under this section
does constitute personal data of persons other than you, and to release
would be a breach of paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 of the DPA. Paragraph 1 of
Schedule 1 of the DPA provides that any processing (which includes
disclosure) of information must be fair, lawful, and in accordance with at
least one of the conditions in Schedule 2. If it constitutes sensitive
personal data additionally at least one of the conditions in Schedule 3 is
met. The Commission has considered whether the release of this information
would be in accordance with this, and has concluded that it would not be
in accordance with any of the conditions in Schedule 2.
S41 - The Commission holds other information which we are of the view is
exempt from disclosure under s. 41 of FOI Act 2000. This section provides
that information is exempt information if ***
(a) it was obtained by the public authority from any other person
(including another public authority), and
(b) the disclosure of the information to the public (otherwise than under
this Act) by the public authority holding it would constitute a breach of
confidence actionable by that or any other person.
The Commission considers that disclosure of the information held would
constitute an actionable breach of confidence, and it has therefore not
S43 - We have also redacted (withheld) information you requested whose
disclosure is likely to prejudice the commercial interests of any person.
This information is exempt from disclosure under section 43(2) of the
FOI. In this case we have withheld information about the charity***s
commercial relationships and details of professional advice received since
details of those are likely to prejudice its position if it were ever in a
position to enter into comparable arrangements in the future. In deciding
whether the exemption under section 43(2) applies, we must consider, does
the public interest in withholding the information outweigh the public
interest in its disclosure?
When the Commission contacts charities it regulates, it needs charities to
be open and frank with it, so it can get a clear and accurate picture of
the situation. If the Commission were to release charities*** commercial
information, it is likely to make charities less likely to be open and
frank and less likely to share that information. This would hinder the
Commission in exercising its regulatory function, which is contrary to the
public interest. Also, we do not think it is in the public interest to
harm a charity***s potential bargaining position in future arrangements
(should there be any) by disclosing terms of previous arrangements. On
the other hand, we can only see a very limited public interest in making
public the details of the commercial terms of historic arrangements
entered into by a local charity. On balance I consider the public
interest in withholding the information outweighs the public interest in
If you are unhappy with our response to your FOI request, have a complaint
or wish to request a review of our FOI decision, you should write to:
Charity Commission Direct, PO Box 1227, LIVERPOOL, L69 3UG. Please state
what it is you are dissatisfied with, which will assist us when we review
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cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our complaints procedure.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
Joy Lake (Mrs)
t: 01823 345199
f: 01823 345008
e: [email address]
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