Read a selection of the Ombudsman’s Freedom of Information external review determinations.

These determinations show the types of external reviews regularly conducted by the Ombudsman, and provide insight into the Ombudsman’s interpretation of the Freedom of Information Act 1991.

Department for Health and Wellbeing (2021/06514) (PDF, 98.6 KB)

The Department for Health and Wellbeing failed to determine an application for access and application for internal review within the relevant statutory timeframes and was taken to have determined to refuse access to all documents within scope of the application. Upon commencing the external review, the agency advised the Ombudsman that no documents were found within scope. The Ombudsman observed that under the FOI Act, he did not have jurisdiction to consider the veracity of the agency’s claim that it holds no documents within scope. As the agency was taken to have made a determination, but had not provided any basis for refusing access to documents, the Ombudsman reversed the agency’s to give access to all documents found within scope, bearing in mind that as no documents were found within scope there was no practical effect to his determination for the applicant.