Investigation into availability of FairWay Reviewers’ Benchbook under the Official Information Act
A requester asked FairWay Resolution Ltd (FairWay) for a copy of a FairWay document known as the Reviewers’ Benchbook. FairWay refused the request under sections 9(2)(b)(i) and 9(2)(b)(ii) of the Official Information Act 1982 (OIA), in order to protect information that would disclose a trade secret, and would be likely to unreasonably prejudice its commercial position.
FairWay submitted that its reviewers are not an organisation for the purposes of the OIA, on the basis that they exercise judicial functions and are therefore excluded by section 2(6).
I have concluded that FairWay’s reviewers do not exercise judicial functions and are therefore subject to the OIA. In my opinion FairWay did not have good grounds to withhold the Benchbook.