FOI response times: FOI release
- Constitution and Cabinet Directorate
- Part of
- Public sector
Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.
1. The mean, median and maximum response times for an FOI to the Scottish Government over the last 12 months.
2. Over the last 12 months, the mean, median and maximum response time for an FOI to the Scottish Government lodged by an email address with an @parliament.scot domain.
3. Over the last 12 months, the mean, median and maximum response time for FOIs to the Scottish Government lodged by an email addresses with the following domains, or otherwise identified as a journalist in your system:
4. Over the last 12 months, the longest wait time for a response to an FOI request, including the request, response, and any appeal request or response?
For the purposes of responding to this request I have interpreted the term ‘FOI’ to mean both valid requests and reviews that have been responded to under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
There was a total of 4924 responses issued over the last 12 months from the date range requested of 14 October 2021 to 13 October 2022 that have either been responded to or are still requiring a response at the time of your request dated 13 October 2022.
- The mean response time for an FOI to the Scottish Government over the last 12 months was 23 days.
- I have interpreted the ‘median’ to be the case at midpoint of the data set. Therefore the median response time for an FOI to the Scottish Government over the last 12 months was 19 days.
- The maximum response time for an FOI to the Scottish Government over the last 12 months was 235 days.
2. & 3. While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the costs of locating, retrieving and providing the information requested would exceed the upper cost limit of £600.
To provide an answer to questions 2 and 3 of your request would require individually checking each of the 4924 cases to ascertain the email domain used. For example by allowing approximately 1 minute per case to assess and record each email domain would take by our calculations approximately 82 hours. The provision under FOISA is 40 hours which this therefore exceeds. 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. For example providing a specific area or subject matter of interest, or narrowing the time frame further may allow this part of your request to be fulfilled.
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:
4. I have interpreted this to be the longest wait time for a responded to FOI request and then if it went on to review and then appeal - the overall length of time the 3 elements took to complete. The longest wait time for an FOI request was 235 days. The review for this FOI is still ongoing at 37 days as at the day of your request. There has been no notification of an appeal at this stage.
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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