Line to take - LTT137 - Refined and clarified requests as "new" requests

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  • FOI/EIR: FOI
  • Section/Regulation: s1, s10, s12, s16
  • Issue: Refined and clarified requests as "new” requests
  • Source: DN, Information Tribunal
  • Details: Roberts / ICO
  • Related Lines to Take: LTT47, LTT87, LTT88, LTT89, LTT116
  • Related Documents: EA/2008/0050 (Roberts), Awareness Guidance 11, Awareness Guidance 23
  • Contact: GF
  • Date: 14/09/2009
  • Policy Reference: LTT137
  • © Copyright Information Commissioner's Office, re-used with permission
  • Original source linked from here: LTT


Line to take

Where a public authority refuses a request under s12, and the applicant forms a refined request (potentially following advice and assistance under s16), the refined request should be treated as a new request, and the statutory time period for compliance commences on the date of receipt of that new request.

Where a public authority seeks clarification of a request under s1(3) and the applicant submits a clarified request (or further information to clarify), the clarified request instigates a new statutory time period for compliance, which commences on the date of the receipt of that subsequent request as per s10(6)(b).


Further Information

Refined requests

LTT141 sets out the line to take from the IT decision in Roberts that where a request is refused on grounds of cost under s12, if a public authority does not fulfil their duty under s16 to provide advice and assistance to enable the applicant to refine his request, the costs estimate is not invalidated.

The implication of the refusal of the original request under s12 not being invalidated is that any refined request should be treated as a new request.

Clarifying requests

Where an applicant submits a clarified request (or further information to clarify a request) subject to s1(3), this is a “new” request for the purposes of the statutory time period only, as per section 10(6)(b) (reflected in Awareness Guidance 11).

Section 10(6) reads:

In this section-
the date of receipt” means-
(a) the day on which the public authority receives the request for information, or
(b) if later, the day on which it receives the information referred to in section 1(3);

Section 1(3) states:

Where a public authority-
(a) reasonably requires the further information in order to identify and location the information requested, and
(b) has informed the appilcant of that requirement,
the authority is not obliges to comply with subsection (1) unless it is supplied with that further information.

Note: for the Commissioner’s approach to the statutory time limit where there is more than one objective reading of a request, please see LTT89.