Freedom of Information

Responding to Requests

Responding to Requests

When we have received a valid Freedom of Information (FOI) request, we have 20 working days to respond.

You may have to provide more detail if your request doesn't allow us to identify the information you're looking for. Once we're clear what information you want, the 20 working day response time will start.

If the information you request is already published, we'll direct you on how to find it rather than provide the information itself.

Also, if we know that the requested information is published by another public authority, we'll tell you how to contact them.

Our response will:

  • confirm whether or not we hold the information you requested
  • provide you with a copy of the information we're able to disclose
  • tell you if we aren't able to release some of the information you have asked for - and explain why
  • give you details of how to complain if you are unhappy with our response

FOI Exemptions

We may not be able to release information to which an exemption in the FOI Act legitimately applies.

However, we will explain to you why we can't release the information you've requested and which of the FOI exemptions apply.

Some of the exemptions include:

  • if it would take an excessive amount of work to supply you with all of the information you have requested
  • where the information contains personal data about other people, and it would not be appropriate for us to release
  • information given to us in confidence
  • if the disclosure of the information would prejudice commercial interests
  • if your request is repeated or vexatious

You can find out more about the exemptions contained within the FOI Act on the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) website. The ICO is the organisation responsible for enforcement of the Act, and for investigating complaints against public authorities in relation to FOI requests.


On very rare occasions, we may need to charge you.

Costs might cover printing, photocopying or postage. We'll let you know as soon as possible (and within 20 working days), if there are any charges for your FOI request.

We won't be able to release the information you've requested, until fees have been received.