ICO Blog: Are you clear on clarifying information requests?

Jan 10th '24

By Sophie Turner is the Senior Upstream Regulation Officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).


Public organisations hold a huge amount of information across a wide range of areas. That’s why it’s vital that practitioners understand exactly what people are asking for when dealing with requests under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).


Unclear requests make it difficult to respond effectively and within the mandatory timeframes. Without clarity, organisations not only risk providing the wrong information, which could damage people’s confidence in the organisation, it could also create extra work for everyone involved.


Clarifying FOI requests is an area that the ICO is asked about regularly, and while there is detailed guidance on their website, they know that sometimes some simple tips can be helpful. This information should help practitioners get to grips with the issue quickly and easily.


Read the full article, here.


Source: ICO


About the ICO

  • The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  • The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018), the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
  • Since 25 May 2018, the ICO has the power to impose fines on data controllers of up to £17.5 million or (if the controller is an undertaking) 4% of global turnover.
  • This fine was issued under the DPA 2018 for an infringement of the UK GDPR. The ICO’s decision will be published on our website in due course.
  • Any fine is paid into the Consolidated Fund, which is the Government’s general bank account at the Bank of England, and is not kept by the ICO. However, the ICO is able to retain a specified amount of such fines each financial year to cover enforcement and litigation costs. The approach we take is audited by the National Audit Office. See How they are funded for more information.
  • To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.


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