FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997

Procedure in relation to certain requests under section 7 to which section 26 , 27 or 28 applies.

29

29. (1) In this section “ a request to which this section applies” means a request under section 7 to which section 26 (3) or 27 (3) applies or to which section 28 (5) applies and which, apart from this section, would fall to be granted.

(2) Subject to subsection (5), before deciding whether to grant a request to which this section applies, a head shall, not later than 2 weeks after the receipt of the request—

( a) if the request is one to which section 26 (3) applies, cause the person who gave the information concerned to the public body concerned and, if the head considers it appropriate, the person to whom the information relates, or

( b) if the request is one to which section 27 (3) or 28 (5) applies, cause the person to whom the information relates,

to be notified, in writing or in such other form as may be determined—

(i) of the request and that, apart from this section, it falls, in the public interest, to be granted,

(ii) that the person may, not later than 3 weeks after the receipt of the notification, make submissions to the head in relation to the request, and

(iii) that the head will consider any such submissions before deciding whether to grant or refuse to grant the request.

F57 [ (2A) ( a ) The head may, as respects a request to which this section applies received by him or her, extend the period specified in subsection (2) for compliance with that subsection by such period as he or she considers necessary but not exceeding a period of 2 weeks if in the opinion of the head

(i) the request relates to such number of records, or

(ii) the number of persons required by subsection (2) to be notified of the matters referred to in paragraphs (i) to (ii) of that subsection is such,

that compliance with that subsection within the period specified therein is not reasonably possible.

( b ) Where a period is extended under this subsection, the head concerned shall cause notice in writing, or in such other form as may be determined, to be given to the requester concerned, before the expiration of the period, of the extension and the period thereof and reasons therefor.

( c ) The reference in subsection (2) to 2 weeks shall be construed in accordance with any extension under this subsection of that period. ]

(3) A person who receives a notification under subsection (2) may, not later than 3 weeks after such receipt, make submissions to the head concerned in relation to the request to which this section applies referred to in the notification and the head—

( a) shall consider any such submissions so made before deciding whether to grant the request,

( b) shall cause the person to be notified in writing or in such other form as may be determined of the decision, and

( c) if the decision is to grant the request, shall cause to be included in the notification particulars of the right of review of the decision under section 34 , the procedure governing the exercise of that right and the time limit governing such exercise.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), a head shall make a decision whether to grant a request to which this section applies, and shall comply with subsection (3) in relation thereto, not later than 2 weeks after—

( a) the expiration of the time specified in subsection (3), or

( b) the receipt of submissions under that subsection in relation to the request from those concerned,

whichever is the earlier, and section 8 (1) shall be construed and shall have effect accordingly.

(5) If, in relation to a request to which this section applies, the head concerned is unable to comply with subsection (2), having taken all reasonable steps to do so, the head shall, if the Commissioner consents to the non-compliance, make a decision whether to grant or refuse the request not later than 7 weeks after the receipt of the request and in such a case section 8 (1) shall be construed and shall have effect accordingly.

(6) If, in relation to a request to which this section applies, the Commissioner does not consent, pursuant to subsection (5), to non-compliance with subsection (2), he or she shall direct the head concerned to take specified steps within a specified period for the purpose of complying with subsection (2) and if, having taken those steps within that period or such further period as the Commissioner may specify, the head is unable to comply with that subsection, he or she shall, as soon as may be, make a decision whether to grant or refuse the request.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F57

Inserted (11.04.2003) by Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 (9/2003), s. 24, commenced on enactment.