Judgment in a case concerning the right of access to information

Uppsala Vatten och Avfall AB is obliged to provide the Swedish Armed Forces with information.

Public authorities are obliged to provide information to each other unless the information is classified or it would impede the due course of the work.

The Swedish Armed Forces requested information from Uppsala Vatten och Avfall AB regarding certain information concerning, inter alia, sampling of the groundwater in the Uppsala Ridge. The objective was that the Swedish Armed Forces would be able to adopt a position regarding the company’s damages claim.

The company partially rejected the request and referred to the fact that the information was covered by the secrecy provision applicable to information which discloses, or may contribute to the disclosure of, security or monitoring measures and the provision applicable to information relating to the operations of a public authority consisting of risk and vulnerability analyses regarding peacetime crisis situations.

The Supreme Administrative Court found that the information is subject to secrecy in accordance with the secrecy provisions in question. However, since the regulations will be applicable to the information also at the Swedish Armed Forces, it may not be assumed that the disclosure of the information to the Swedish Armed Forces would contravene the company’s security or monitoring measures regarding the water plant or its possibilities to prevent and manage peacetime crisis situations. Accordingly, the information is not classified in relation to the Swedish Armed Forces. The company is thereby obliged to provide the Swedish Armed Forces with the information requested by the Swedish Armed Forces.

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