Practical refusal reasons
An FOI request can be refused if a practical refusal reason applies.
- the request for information was not in the correct form;
- the public authority does not hold or, after taking reasonable steps, cannot find the information requested;
- complying with the request would require the public authority to:
- create or derive information from information that it holds,
- undertake research into, or analysis of, information that it holds; or
- undertake substantial compilation or collation of information that it holds;
- the request for information relates to information that is identical, or substantially similar, to information previously requested by, and supplied to, the applicant and a reasonable period of time has not passed between compliance with the previous request and the making of the current request;
- the request is deemed to be "vexatious, malicious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance".
In some cases it will be a matter of fact that the practical refusal reason applies.
If your request is refused for a practical refusal reason, the public authority must send you a refusal notice within 20 working days of receipt of your request explaining why it is being refused.