From: Paul Daly
Ministry of Defence
London SW1A 2HB
020 7218 4848
Assistant Head Information Rights
Ms Kacey Montagu request-690843-
09 October 2020
FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUEST
Dear Ms Montagu,
Thank you for your email of 10 September 2020 requesting the following information:
“Under FOI please give me an excel (NOT as a pdf) list of all FOI requests you have
had since it became law. for each FOI request, please list:
date of request
date of reply
subject/title of the request [each request on the list should include the subject/title of
the request please] status [whether information was fully released, partially released
I am treating your correspondence as a request for information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 (FOIA). A search has now been completed and I can confirm that all
the information in scope of your request is held.
However, I have to advise you that your we are unable to answer your request as it
falls under Section 14(1) of the FOIA. It is the burden aspect of Section 14(1) which is
relevant in this case which is designed to protect public authorities by allowing them to
refuse any requests when the burden of compliance is too great.
Section 14 (Burden)
Our searches have identified that there were over 40,000 FOIs received within the
time period of your request, with many of the requests containing more than one request
for recorded information. As such the main burden in respect of your request relates to the
necessary review of the “subject/title
” field. This is because the Case Title” field in our
database will often contain personal information or mentions of special forces both of
which will need to be redacted under sections 40 or 23 respectively. There is also the
possibility that other exemptions will also have to be applied to some of the information. As
the case management system is for internal use only, this content will be included when
the case is created. As your request under the Act is a release to world at large, each line
of data would need to be reviewed before release and this would place an undue time and
resource burden on the MOD.
I should also advise that as the “Case Title” field is a “free text box” there is a
significant variation in how this is completed across the Department and in many cases, it
will only provide the generic subject of the request, rather than any specific detail of what
was requested under the Act. If you require more detail on the subject, we will be required
to review the “Request Summary” field. This would be even more burdensome as this field
will often contain the full text of the request submitted by the applicant, which may include
the motivation or context and as such is more likely to contain information which will
Section 16 (Advice and Assistance)
Under Section 16 of the Act (advice and assistance), I can advise if you were to
consider refining your request, for example, for all requests answered by MOD over the
past two months, we would be happy to consider your request again.
That said, it is of course open to you to consider your own refinement to this request.
and you may the following useful in doing so. You can find a list of requests received from
March 2010 to 2012 at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/foi-requests-for-
Please note, these only provide the reference numbers and
a summary of the request. They do not contain the date of request, date of reply or the
You may also be interested to know that you can find copies of a large number of
responses where the MOD have released information in response to a request under the
Act, here: https://www.gov.uk/search/transparency-and-freedom-of-information-
However, please note that this is only cases where we have released information
and is only a representative sample. It does not contain every request in that category.
In addition to the above links, further information relating to requests received by
MOD can be found within the attached file and Annex A of this document. The attached file
includes information provided in response to a previous FOI request, which includes data
relating to requests received from 2009 – 2014. The data includes the case reference
number, date received, request details and the status of the response.
10. Whist Annex A provides links to archived data relating to requests received by MOD
from 2005 – 2012.
11. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss and refine your request or require
advice on doing so.
12. If you have any queries regarding the content of this letter, please contact this office
in the first instance.If you wish to complain about the handling of your request, or the
content of this response, you can request an independent internal review by contacting the
Information Rights Compliance team, Ground Floor, MOD Main Building, Whitehall, SW1A
2HB (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org). P
lease note that any request for an internal review
should be made within 40 working days of the date of this response.
13. If you remain dissatisfied following an internal review, you may raise your complaint
directly to the Information Commissioner under the provisions of Section 50 of the
Freedom of Information Act. Please note that the Information Commissioner will not
normally investigate your case until the MOD internal review process has been completed.
The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF. Further details of the role and
powers of the Information Commissioner can be found on the Commissioner's website at https://ico.org.uk/.
Annex A Freedom of Information Requests received by MOD from 2005-2012
Information relating to requests for information received by MOD can be found by following the links
January, February, July, October, November and December 2010 -
March 2010 -
April, June, August and September 2010 -
May 2010 -
January – March 2011 -
April 2011 – March 2012 -