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Whether Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited is being investigated by TPR

FOI reference - FOI-4175
Date - 15 October 2019

Request

I would like to request information on whether this company [Bradford Bulls 2017 Limited] is being investigated and/or fined regarding unpaid pension contributions for its employees.

Response

We neither confirm nor deny that we hold any information falling within the scope of your request. 

This is because providing any form of confirmation or denial could reveal the content, if held, of information which would be defined as restricted under section 82 of the Pensions Act 2004 (PA04).

This response should not be treated as confirmation of any information being held in relation to the request. The response is to comply with requirements of section 1 of FoIA.

Section 44 of The FoIA and Section 82 of PA04

As we have been given strong powers to demand documents and other information from trustees, employers and others, those powers are also balanced by restrictions on how we disclose the information provided to us. The type of information you have requested would be 'restricted information'. 

Restricted information is defined at section 82(4) of the PA04 as:

"...information obtained by the Regulator in the exercise of its functions which relates to the business or other affairs of any person." 

Under section 82(5) of the PA04 it is a criminal offence to disclose such information except as permitted under that Act.

Whilst the FoIA is based on the presumption of releasing information, section 44(1)(a) of the FoIA provides an absolute exemption to the requirement to disclose any information if its disclosure is prohibited by or under any enactment. In this case, section 82 of the PA04 prohibits disclosure requested information.

This exemption is absolute and does not require a public interest assessment be undertaken.

Advice and Guidance

In certain circumstances TPR does have the ability to disclose restricted information. Using our section 89 powers we publish the names of any employers who have been issued with escalating penalty and they remain non-compliant. This can be accessed here:

https://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/en/document-library/enforcement-activity/penalty-notices