Response sent: October 2011


Regarding a file on a Mr Leon Gassner, - 100 pages of Archives' documentations, file no BY 298 and 299, reg no B3066/298/143/192
1. When did the above mentioned archive documents become freely accessible to British as well as foreign legal and natural persons?

2. When was document last accessed by anyone from the public?




We have examined The National Archives' Catalogue and have found two files that match the previous file references BY 298 and 299, the file references are FO 1004/126 and FO 1004/127.

  • FO 1004/126 - Gassner, Leo Ferdinand Josef Maria, is an open record and had the previous reference number of BY 298
  • FO 1004/127 - Gassner, Andrew. See also FO 1004/131-133 is a closed record and had the previous reference number of BY 299

1. The file FO 1004/126 was opened to the public on 23 May 2006, until this time the file was unavailable for public examination. The Freedom of Information Act is a public access regime; this means that any information released to an applicant then becomes available to the wider public. Under the UK FOI legislation this applies to any person and not just a UK citizen. We routinely welcome visitors from countries at The National Archives who have the same access rights as UK citizens.

The file FO 1004/127 is currently closed, this means that the record is not available for public examination by anyone. Should you wish to access this file you will need to make a request for this under the FOI Act. This request can be made via The National Archives' Catalogue. As the file relates to an individual it is likely to contain personal information, the disclosure of which during their lifetime would be protected by the Data Protection Act.

2. Since the file FO 1004/126 was opened in May 2006 the file has been ordered for onsite three times by members of the public. We are aware that on at least one of these occasions a copy of the file was ordered or copies of the file were taken. We are unable to be more specific than that because readers are allowed to take photos of any open records using their own digital cameras, which we do not record.

The file was produced for viewing in June 2006, November 2008 and December 2008. We cannot provide you with the identity of the individuals concerned, their contact addresses or the exact dates of their viewing and/or copying of the file without their specific consent under the terms of the Data Protection Act. This information is classed as their personal data and is exempt from disclosure under section 40(2) and (3)(a)(i) of the FOI Act. This is because release would be unfair to the people concerned and thus be a breach of the first Data Protection Principle.