Number of FOI requests not answered within timescale: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00465
Date received: 10 February 2018
Date responded: 9 March 2018

Information requested

1. How many FOI requests received by the Scottish Government have the Scottish Government been unable to furnish a full answer to since 1/1/17 to 1/2/18?

2. Can a full list of the information requested for same be provided and a reason/s for the inability to answer each of these FOI requests fully that was given to the requester?

3. How many of same requests were not dealt with in the correct timescales as laid down by the FOI rules ?

4. How many of same requests did the requester subsequently Ask to be reviewed by the Scottish Government or were appealed to the Scottish Information commissioner?

5. How many of these reviewed or appealed requests were subsequently answered or Information provided after the Scottish Information commissioner was appealed to?


With regards to questions 1, 3, 4 and 5, the information you have requested is provided within the following table:

Requests received 01/01/17 – 01/02/18 Release Partial Release Refuse Information Not Held Failure to Respond Invalid
On Time 995 695 358 565 0 25
Late 162 204 68 44 62 0
Total 1157 899 426 609 62 25
Asked for Review 31 73 55 33 47 2
- Overturned, Partially Upheld or Review of Failure to Respond 10 40 20 10 44 1
Appealed to Commissioner 6 11 6 2 5 0
- Required to release information following appeal 1 1 1 0 1 0

N.B The above figures do not include requests that were withdrawn or where we are waiting for clarification from the requestor.

With regards to your second question, while our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing some of the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600. This is because we would have to manually retrieve the responses for the 1,934 Refuse, Partial Release or Information Not Held cases in order to extract the specific wording of each request and the reason(s) provided for not fully releasing all of the requested information. Under section 12 of FOISA public authorities are not required to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying would exceed the upper cost limit, which is currently set at £600 by Regulations made under section 12.

You may, however, wish to consider reducing the scope of your request in order that the costs can be brought below £600. This could be done by reducing the timeframe of the request or by requesting the requests specific to a certain Directorate or subject. You may also find it helpful to look at the Scottish Information Commissioner's 'Tips for requesting information under FOI and the EIRs' on his website at:

We are, however, able to provide you with summaries of the requests falling within the timeframe of your request, where the response was recorded as Partial Release, Refuse or Information Not Held, along with (where applicable) the number of the exemption/exception(s) applied, as recorded on our Information Request Tracker (see attached).

Please use the following links to access summaries and explanations of exemptions/exceptions applicable under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002/Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004:

An exemption under section 38(1)(b) of FOISA (personal information) applies to a small amount of this information because it is personal data of a third party, ie names/addresses of individuals, and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998. This exemption is not subject to the 'public interest test', so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

Back to top