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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FS50101185
  • Date: 4 December 2006
  • Public Authority: Vehicle and Operator Services Agency
  • Summary: The complainant submitted three similar requests to the public authority for information about its powers to stop drivers and inspect their vehicles. The public authority responded to these requests, but informed the complainant that it had calculated that the aggregated cost of replying to these requests had exceeded the appropriate cost limit. Consequently, the public authority informed the complainant that it would not respond to any similar requests the complainant decided to submit until 60 working days after the date of the first request. The Commissioner has established that the public authority incorrectly calculated the costs of responding to these requests and therefore the basis for refusing to answer any future requests was flawed. However, the Commissioner has decided that this error did not lead to a breach of the Act because the complainant did not actually submit a further request within the 60 working day period, and in order for a breach to occur an actual request, rather than a theoretical request, has to be incorrectly refused. The complainant also informed the Commissioner that the public authority had failed to fulfil two separate requests for information he had submitted. The Commissioner has decided that the public authority does not hold the information needed to fulfil these two separate requests, although in responding to one of these requests the Commissioner considers that the public authority breached section 1(1) of the Act.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]