The following exemptions are subject to the public interest test. This means that the information must be released unless the public interest in withholding it is greater than the public interest in releasing it.
- Section 22 – Information intended for future publication
- Section 24 – National security
- Section 26 – Defence
- Section 27 – International relations
- Section 28 – Relations within the United Kingdom.
- Section 29 – The economy
- Section 30 – Investigations and proceedings conducted by public authorities
- Section 31 – Law enforcement
- Section 33 – Audit Functions
- Section 35 – Formulation of government policy
- Section 37 – Communications with Her Majesty, etc.
- Section 38 – Health and safety
- Section 39 – Environmental information, as this can be accessed through the Environmental Information Regulations
- Section 40 – Personal Information. Certain limited parts of this section require the public interest test to be applied
- Section 42 – Legal professional privilege
- Section 43 – Information relating to commercial issues
Where the Authority considers that the public interest in withholding the information requested outweighs the public interest in releasing it, the Authority must inform the applicant of its reasons, unless doing so would mean releasing the exempt information.