Inspection reports on Carmarthenshire Archives service

FOI request reference: F0043083
Publication date: September 2015


Partially successful


I would be grateful for the release of the National Archives inspection reports on Carmarthenshire archives service and county record office from 1998 to 2014 inclusive.


Freedom of Information Request: Reference F0043083


Thank you for your enquiry of 27th August 2015 in which you asked for copies of National Archives inspection reports on Carmarthenshire Archives service and county record office from 1998 to 2014.

Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request. We hold inspection reports for the years 2000, 2005 and 2011and we are pleased to be able to provide some of this information to you.

We are unable to provide you with some of the information you have requested because it is covered by the exemption at section 31(a) of the FOIA, which exempts information if its release would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention and detection of crime.

Below I have outlined our reasoning for the exemption we have applied.

Section 31 applies to information the release of which, would or would be likely to prejudice law-enforcement matters, including preventing or detecting crime, arresting or prosecuting offenders and the proper administration of justice.

Section 31 is a qualified exemption and we are required to conduct a public interest test when applying any qualified exemption. This means that after it has been decided that the exemption is engaged, the public interest in releasing the information must be considered. If the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in withholding it then the exemption does not apply and must be released. In the Freedom of Information Act there is a presumption that information should be released unless there are compelling reasons to withhold it.

Having considered the public interest test it has been decided that the exemption does apply and some parts of the document will be redacted.

Outcome of the Public Interest Test:

Section 31(1) (a) is engaged when, to quote the Freedom of Information Act, ‘disclosure … would, or would be likely to, prejudice the prevention or detection of crime’.

In considering the public interest in this case, as to whether the benefits of releasing this security information outweigh the risks that release poses to the security of these collections, we have concluded that the security considerations are paramount in this case.

Disclosure of this detailed information would be highly likely to undermine the measures designed to protect the archival and manuscript collections exposing them to a much greater risk of theft. To place this material in the public domain would undermine the Record Office’s ability to maintain these security arrangements.

We propose that this information is redacted under this exemption.

We have attached copies of the redacted reports to this response.

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of your request or the decision which has been reached, you have the right to ask for an internal review.  Internal review requests must be submitted within two months of the date of this response and should be addressed to:

Quality Manager
Public Services Development Unit
The National Archives

Please mark your complaint clearly.  You have the right to ask the Information Commissioner (ICO) to investigate any aspect of your complaint.  However, please note that the ICO is likely to expect internal complaints procedures to have been exhausted before beginning his investigation.

Yours sincerely,

Freedom of Information Assessor
Freedom of Information Centre
The National Archives

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