Decision

Complaint requesting information about named companies

The complainant has requested information about two named companies. One company had gone into liquidation, the second is still live.

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Detail

The complainant has requested information about two named companies. One company had gone into liquidation, the second is still live. The Insolvency Service (IS) acknowledged it held information about the company in liquidation but withheld that information under section 40(2). It refused to confirm or deny whether it held any information in respect of the live company under section 40(5). The Commissioner’s decision is that the IS was correct to withhold information about the company in liquidation under section 40(2). However the IS was not entitled to rely on section 40(5) to refuse to confirm or deny whether it holds information about the live company. The Commissioner requires the public authority to confirm or deny whether it holds the information in relation to the live company ie the second company named in the request. If it does hold the requested information the IS must either communicate that information to the complainant or issue a fresh refusal notice citing the grounds it is relying on to refuse the request.