Freedom of Information

3. Dealing with requests

We will provide advice and assistance to help people make requests under the FOIA.

We aim to respond to all requests promptly and at any rate, within the statutory response period of 20 working days following receipt of a valid request.

This timescale can be extended under specific circumstances. For example, if an exemption applies and we're considering whether or not it is in the public interest to disclose the information regardless of the exemption.

We aim to publish as much information as we can, both proactively and in response to requests under the FOIA. However exemptions will be applied where appropriate to ensure that information which is not suitable for publication is protected.

Written requests for information received by us via post, email or other means will be treated as requests under the FOIA in cases where the information is not already publicly available or routinely disclosed on request.

There is no need for requests to indicate they are made under the FOIA. However applicants making requests must provide their real name and an address for correspondence (email or postal). If a request is unclear, we will ask for clarification as soon as we can to enable us to proceed with considering the request.

We reserve the right to refuse requests where the cost of providing the information would exceed the statutory cost limit. This limit is currently £450, which equates to 18 hours' work at a statutory rate of £25 per hour.

Where we estimate that complying with a request will take more than 18 hours of officer time, we will try to assist applicants to make refined requests which are more manageable.