Department for Culture Media and Sport

how we process requests

We will respond within 20 working days from the date we receive your request.

Assuming we are able to identify the information you requested and provide it within the cost limit, you will receive either:

  • the information requested
  • either an explanation of why we are withholding the information
  • or notification that we require additional time to consider the public interest in releasing information

Where this is the case we will notify you which of the specific categories for exempting information as set out by the FOI Act we are considering, and the date we expect to complete our decision by.

If we are unclear from your initial request what information you are asking for, we will contact you for clarification.

If your request is very wide and appears to be outside the cost limit we may contact you to see if you can be more specific about what you are seeking. This may enable us to answer your request within the "appropriate limit".

Please note that if your request needs to be revised, the 20-day deadline will be reset to count from the date we receive your revised request.

What if another public authority holds the information?

We will inform you that another public authority may hold the information and provide you with the contact details. If we hold some limited information on the topic ourselves we will consider it under the terms of the FOI Act, but we may contact you first to confirm whether you do want us to search our records.

What happens if my request is refused or I am unhappy with the response?

If your request is refused, or if information is excluded from release, we will reply explaining why, identifying which exemption(s) have been applied, where appropriate. This letter will also give details of how to ask for an internal review of the decision.

If, after the internal review, you remain dissatisfied, you can complain to the Information Commissioner and ask for a review of the decision.

Memorandum of Understanding with the Information Commissioner (PDF 81kb) (The memorandum is to promote good standards of co-operation between Departments and the Commmissioner when appeals have been made to the Information Commissioner.)

Will the request be published?

Our standard procedure is to publish a disclosure log of all information released and to make that information available to others on request. We will not publish the name or contact details of the person who made the request.