Decisions Round-up: 10 to 14 August 2015

We published one decision this week, with advice for both requesters and authorities when attempting to narrow a request.

Key messages:

  • Requesters: take care when narrowing a request - and remember you can ask for advice
    In Decision 126/2015, an organisation attempted to narrow its information request, after realising that its wide scope was causing problems for the authority. In doing so, it detailed the types of information that it didn't want to see. However, for the authority, removing this information would require extra work so, in this case, the "narrowed" request involved no less work than the original. If you want to narrow a request but are not sure how to approach it, remember that you can always contact the authority for advice. Our Tips for Requesters page also has suggestions to help narrow a request.


  • Authorities: discussing problems with requesters may help to resolve the request
    And for authorities, if you're aware that a requester's attempt to narrow or clarify a request is not as effective as the requester thinks, try to engage positively with the requester at an early opportunity, e.g. by explaining the problem and offering advice to help refine the request. The section 60 code of practice has more guidance on advising and assisting rquesters, or you can review and improve your own performance in this area with our new self-assessment module.

Decisions issued:

  • Decision 126/2015 The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Scottish Ministers
    The RSPB asked the Scottish Ministers for information about east coast windfarm projects. The Ministers refused to make the information available, arguing that the request was manifestly unreasonable because of the burden it would place on them. We accepted that the request was manifestly unreasonable and that, as a result, the request could be refused.

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