Exemption of Additional Information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
We apply the following exemptions to the release of any further information about public health funerals, people who have died with no known next of kin, bona vacantia estates and estates which have been referred to the Treasury Solicitor, or Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall.
Section 21- Information Reasonably Accessible to the Applicant by another Means - The Council’s reason for applying this exemption is that details of all deaths within the Vale of Glamorgan are registered. Deaths can be registered at any Registry Office and contact details of all those within The Vale of Glamorgan can be found on our registration page. Information that the council holds on estates passed, or estates to be passed, to the Treasury Solicitor, is considered to be held on behalf of the Treasury Solicitor’s Department. Some details of the estate of those persons who have died and which have been passed to the Treasury Solicitor can be accessed via the Treasury Solicitor’s website or via the Bona Vacantia website.
Section 31 – Law Enforcement -Revealing details of the assets of an estate before the Treasury Solicitor has undertaken their own enquiries would provide an opportunity for criminal acts to be committed (for example, theft or fraud). Similarly, there would be concerns about making the last known address of the deceased public, as the property is likely to be unoccupied and might still contain the deceased’s personal papers and effects.
There is also a continuing risk after the estate has been secured of, for example, identity theft. Taking into account the above issues, the council considers that there is no over-riding public interest in releasing the information requested. Any public interest would be best served by upholding the exemption under Section 31 of the Act as disclosure of the information would be likely to prejudice the prevention of crime by enabling or encouraging the commission of offences.
Applicants should be aware that the exemption of additional information under Section 21 and Section 31 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 has been upheld by an Internal Review.