Freedom of Information Act 2014
Decisions on FOI requests and notification of decisions
13. (1) Subject to this Act, a head shall, as soon as may be, but not later than 4 weeks, after the receipt of an FOI request—
(a) decide whether to grant or refuse to grant the request or to grant it in part,
(b) if he or she decides to grant the request, whether wholly or in part, determine the form and manner in which the right of access will be exercised, and
(c) cause notice, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, of the decision and determination to be given to the requester concerned.
(2) A notice under subsection (1) shall specify—
(a) the decision under that subsection and the day on which it was made,
(b) unless the head concerned reasonably believes that their disclosure could prejudice the safety or well-being of the person concerned, the name and designation of the person in the FOI body concerned who is dealing with the request,
(c) if the request aforesaid is granted, whether wholly or in part—
(i) the day on which, and the form and manner in which, access to the record concerned will be offered to the requester concerned and the period during which the record will be kept available for the purpose of such access, and
(ii) the amount of any fee under section 27 payable by the requester in respect of the grant of the request,
(d) if the request aforesaid is refused, whether wholly or in part—
(i) the reasons for the refusal, and
(ii) unless the refusal is pursuant to section 28(5), 31(4), 32(2), 33(4), 35(4), 36(4) or 37(6), any provision of this Act pursuant to which the request is refused and the findings on any material issues relevant to the decision and particulars of any matter relating to the public interest taken into consideration for the purposes of the decision,
(e) if the giving of access to the record is deferred und er section 16, the reasons for the deferral and the period of the deferral, and
(f) particulars of rights of review and appeal under this Act in relation to the decision under subsection (1) and any other decision referred to in the notice, the procedure governing the exercise of those rights and the time limits governing such exercise.
(3) Subject to this Act, where a request is granted under subsection (1) —
(i) a fee is not charged under section 27 in respect of the matter,
(ii) a deposit under that section has been paid and a fee under that section is charged and the amount of the deposit equals or exceeds the amount of the fee, or
(iii) such a deposit has been paid but such a fee is not charged,
access to the record concerned shall be offered to the requester concerned forthwith and the record shall be kept available for the purpose of such access for a period of 4 weeks thereafter, and
(b) if a fee is so charged, access to the record concerned shall be offered to the requester concerned as soon as may be, but not more than one week, after the day on which the fee is received by the FOI body concerned, and the record shall be kept available for the purpose of such access until—
(i) the expiration of the period of 4 weeks from such receipt, or
(ii) the expiration of the period of 8 weeks from the receipt by the requester concerned of the notice under subsection (1) concerned,
whichever is the earlier.
(4) Subject to this Act, in deciding whether to grant or refuse to grant an FOI request—
(a) any reason that the requester gives for the request, and
(b) any belief or opinion of the head as to what are the reasons of the requester for the request,
shall be disregarded.
(5) This section shall not be construed as requiring the inclusion in a notice under subsection (1) of matter that, if it were included in a record, would cause the record to be an exempt record.
(6) References in this section to the grant of an FOI request include references to such a grant pursuant to section 18.