Saturday, 5 February 2011
5 January 2011
Dear Cabinet Office,
I would like to know who nominated Frank Walker for an OBE in the
2011 New Years Honours.
Answer to my FOI request sent 5th Januart “Who nominated Frank Walker for an OBE?”
Letter received from Gary Rogers of the Cabinet Office February 2011 (he did not put the exact date)
“I can confirm that we hold some information relating to your request. However, the information we hold is being withheld under section 37 (1)(b) information related to the conferring by the Crown of any honour or dignity. Section 37 (1)(b) is subject to the public interest test. There is a general public interest in disclosure of information and I recognise that openness in government may increase public trust in and engagement with the government. I recognise that the honours and appointments process is one in which there is public interest. The public interest lies in the process being transparent and ensuring that the process of award of honours and dignities is clear, and that the public has confidence in the system.
It is also , however, in the public interest to maintain the integrity of the honours system. Non disclosure of information relating to individual nominations ensures that:
-those invited to offer information about a candidate (including the candidate him or herself) can do so freely and honestly, in confidence, on the understanding that their confidence will be honoured.
- decisions about honours continue to be taken on the basis of full and honest information about the person concerned.
- those who assess honours can carry out their work free from pressure for, or on behalf of, potential or actual candidates.
Having considered all the circumstances of the case, I believe the balance of public interest falls in favour of withholding the information exempt under section 37(1)(b) of the FOIA