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CEO (Neil McArthur) resignation

Request date: 6 April 2022

This version was printed or saved on: 19 July 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/freedomofinformation/ceo-neil-mcarthur-resignation

Request

I wish to make a freedom of information request for the following:

  1. The resignation letter of the former Chief Executive, Neil McArthur.
  2. The correspondence from the Gambling Committee informing the UK government of the CEO's resignation.

Response

Thank you for your request which has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Your request was for the following information:

  1. The resignation letter of the former Chief Executive, Neil McArthur.
  2. The correspondence from the Gambling Committee informing the UK government of the CEO's resignation.

We have assumed that you mean ‘Gambling Commission rather than ‘Gambling Committee’ in your request, please advise us if this is not the case.

Please find attached the correspondence that we hold that falls within the scope of your request.

We have redacted from this, information relating to identifiable individuals that would constitute personal data.

The Data Protection Act 2018 requires personal data to be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject. It is the view of the Commission that disclosing the personal information within the attached document would constitute the disclosure of personal data and would contravene this principle.

This information is therefore exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

With regards to Neil McArthur’s resignation letter, we do not hold any information relating to this part of your request.

Review of the decision

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your Freedom of Information request you are entitled to an internal review of our decision. You should write to FOI Team, Gambling Commission, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP or by reply to this email.

Please note, internal review requests should be made within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests made outside this timeframe will not be processed.

If you are not content with the outcome of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have already exhausted the review procedure provided by the Gambling Commission.

The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in a new tab), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Information Management Team
Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham B2 4BP

Review request

Thank you for responding to my foi request. However, I would like to request an internal review. The reasons are:

  1. Please ensure all information in the scope of my request has been provided.
  2. I am seeking disclosure of all redacted information (with the exception of personal information related to non-senior employees, this can remain redacted).

There is a public interest in transparency and accountability around the resignation of the Commission's Chief Executive particularly as the resignation occurred within 2 business days of the collapse of Bet Index (which was regulated by the Gambling Commission) and resulted in the loss of £124 million of customer funds. The collapse has been described as one of the largest collapses in UK gambling history. The departure of the Chief Executive at this time means he was never held accountable for explaining Commission actions / inactions around the regulation of Bet Index. The public interest in disclosure is clear, substantial and overwhelming.

If you withhold the information I am seeking then I will refer the matter to the Information Commissioner's Office.

Review Response

Further to your Freedom of Information request dated 06/04/22 which we responded to on 09/05/22, and your subsequent request for an internal review received on 10/05/22, we have now concluded the review and our findings are detailed below. This internal review was conducted by someone who was not involved in the processing of your original request.

Your request was for the following information

  1. The resignation letter of the former Chief Executive, Neil McArthur.
  2. The correspondence from the Gambling Committee informing the UK government of the CEO's resignation.

In our response we advised you that we did not hold information relating to a ‘resignation letter’ from Neil McArthur. Upon review, I can confirm that we do not hold this information.

We have provided the correspondence from the Gambling Commission to DCMS relating to this matter.

With regards to the personal information that we have redacted, it is our view that the information contained in the letters that enables an individual to be identified and/or relates directly to them is exempt from disclosure under s40(2).

There is an expectation of the individuals concerned that their personal information will not be released into the public domain. To release this information would contravene the principles listed in Article 5 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) specifically principle 5 (a) Personal data shall be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject. It is our view that there is no lawful basis for disclosing this information.

In addition, there is not a proportionate legitimate interest in disclosing this personal information which overrides the right to privacy of the individuals concerned.

Therefore, we uphold our original decision that the S40(2) exemption is engaged.

If you are not content with the outcome of your review, you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the Gambling Commission. The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

ICO Decision Notice

https://ico.org.uk/media/action-weve-taken/decision-notices/2023/4024475/ic-171407-b0d2.pdf (PDF) (opens in new tab)

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