FOIA Section 11

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Means by which communication to be made

The requester can ask for information to be provided in the format of their choice (eg electronic, paper or by inspection). This should be done at the point of making the request, although it is reasonable to assume that an emailed request should result in an emailed reply. The public authorities should take into account this preference, if it is reasonable to do so.

What the law says

Source:Freedom of Information Act 2000

11 Means by which communication to be made.
(1) Where, on making his request for information, the applicant expresses a preference for communication by any one or more of the following means, namely—
(a) the provision to the applicant of a copy of the information in permanent form or in another form acceptable to the applicant,
(b) the provision to the applicant of a reasonable opportunity to inspect a record containing the information, and
(c) the provision to the applicant of a digest or summary of the information in permanent form or in another form acceptable to the applicant,
the public authority shall so far as reasonably practicable give effect to that preference.
(2) In determining for the purposes of this section whether it is reasonably practicable to communicate information by particular means, the public authority may have regard to all the circumstances, including the cost of doing so.
(3) Where the public authority determines that it is not reasonably practicable to comply with any preference expressed by the applicant in making his request, the authority shall notify the applicant of the reasons for its determination.
(4)Subject to subsection (1), a public authority may comply with a request by communicating information by any means which are reasonable in the circumstances.

Court case

Official Guidance

ICO Lines To Take

Relevant Lines to Take
  • LTT171 - Information vs documents - 25/02/2010
  • LTT154 - The right to specify the form in which a copy is provided - 19/05/2009
  • LTT78 - Information held in electronic databases - 02/02/2009
  • LTT119 - Inter-relation between s21 & s39 FOIA and the EIRs - 08/11/2008
  • LTT108 - Digests and Summaries under the FOIA - 20/06/2008
  • LTT72 - Timing of reliance on s11 - 24/09/2007

ICO Decision Notices

Complaints upheld / partly upheld (P) Complaints not upheld
  • FS50217416 - Student Loans Company Ltd - 04/02/2009
  • FS50106800 - Metropolitan Police Service - 20/08/2008
  • FS50091493 - Department for Constitutional Affairs - 28/09/2006
  • FS50069396 - Cyngor Cymuned Llandysul - 01/03/2006
  • FS50174841 - Department for Transport - 17/12/2009
  • FS50241605 - Student Loans Company Ltd - 14/12/2009
  • FS50091142 - Yorkshire Forward - 05/06/2007
  • FS50094281 - Bath and North East Somerset Council - 17/05/2007
  • FS50093734 - Newry and Mourne Health and Social Services - 05/06/2006
  • FS50067992 - Department for Constitutional Affairs - 12/04/2006
  • FS50070741 - Monmouthshire County Council - 29/03/2006

Includes DNs up to: 26 April 2010