UK Supreme Court Upholds Request for Pay Structure

29 July 2013

The U.K. Supreme Court ruled July 29 that information relating to South Lanarkshire Council’s staff pay structure should be disclosed.

The judgment is the first considered by the Supreme Court under Scotland’s freedom of information law.

The requester in 2010 sought details of the number of people placed at specific points on South Lanarkshire Council’s pay structure. The Council argued that disclosure would enable the identification of individual members of staff. The court disagreed.

Blogger Jon Baines commented that it was “a rather unnecessary, and surely rather costly, FOI case” but also “important reading.”

Discussing the court’s reasoning, Baines notes, “This does leave unanswered what the outcome would be if, for instance, no legitimate interest were advanced by a requester and/or the data subjects could be identified.”

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