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How to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request

You might not need to make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to get the information you need. You should: 

You can make a FOI request by either:

What we can’t give you

Sometimes we can not provide or publish information because:

  • we do not hold it
  • it is a court record
  • it is the personal information of another individual
  • it has been given to us in confidence
  • the law (other than Freedom of Information) says we cannot disclose it. 

These are the most common reasons why we might not publish information but there may be other reasons.

How we'll respond

The law requires that we respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests within 20 working days.

However, it may take longer if:

  • we need to clarify your request with you                  
  • the information you have asked for may be subject to exception
  • there is a charge and we are awaiting payment.


In most cases we will provide information free of charge.

We might need to charge:

  • if we need to collate, print and post large amounts of materials 
  • for time it takes.

We will let you know if a fee is due before releasing the information. We will only release information once we have received payment.

We are also allowed to refuse requests that will take over 18 hours officer time for locating, retrieving and extrapolating information relevant to the request.

Where this is relevant to your request, we will provide advice about refining the request to bring it within the fee limit.