Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,
I looked at your FOI decision notices for the month of November 2017 and found that one officer issued 20 per cent of them. He and three others were responsible for more than half the total:
1. For the year 2016/17, how many FOI Decision Notices were issued?
2. How many of them were issued by each of the five officers who issued the most?
I found that almost 40 per cent of decision notices related to Section 10 FOIA.
3. How many of the FOI decision notices issued during 2016/17 related to Section 10?
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15 December 2017
Case Reference Number IRQ0714851
Dear Ms Moore
I write in response to your email of 5 December 2017 in which you
submitted a request for information to the Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO). Your request has been dealt with in accordance with the
Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
“I looked at your FOI decision notices for the month of November 2017 and
found that one officer issued 20 per cent of them. He and three others
were responsible for more than half the total:
1. For the year 2016/17, how many FOI Decision Notices were issued?
2. How many of them were issued by each of the five officers who issued
I found that almost 40 per cent of decision notices related to Section 10
3. How many of the FOI decision notices issued during 2016/17 related to
I can confirm we hold information in the scope of your request.
In response to parts 1 and 3 of your request the information you have
requested is exempt from disclosure under section 21 of the FOIA as it is
reasonably accessible to you by other means. We publish information about
the casework we do and the datasets for the 2016/17 financial year are
available on our website here:
You can filter these datasets by ‘legislation’, ‘FOI technical beach’ (i.e
s10) and by case outcome (to identify if a decision notice has been
issued) in order to locate the information you are interested in.
In response to part 2 of your request it may first be helpful to explain
that there are a limited number of individuals with the authority to ‘sign
off’ and issue a decision notice. This means that the signatory on the
decision notice will, in most cases, not be the case officer who dealt
with the case. In most instances it will be one of the four group managers
for our FOI casework teams who ‘signs off’ the decision notice. This
process is referenced on page 35-36 of our service guide which can be
Unfortunately we do not hold a separate record of who has signed off a
decision notice and our case management system is not set up to easily
provide this type of information. Generally speaking this is not the sort
of information we would need for our own day to day business purposes.
Therefore the only way to identify the signatories for each decision
notice would be to manually inspect each FOI case where a decision notice
has been issued in order to determine the decision notice signatory.
Having conducted a preliminary search, in the period from 2016/17
financial year, this amounts to over 1200 cases. Assuming that it would
take a minimum of 1 minute per case, with some cases likely to take much
longer, to carry out these searches would take over 20 hours. This is in
excess of the cost limits at section 12 of the FOIA.
Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) makes clear that
a public authority (such as the Information Commissioner’s Office) is not
obliged to comply with an FOIA request if the authority estimates that the
cost of complying with the request would exceed the ‘appropriate limit'.
The ‘appropriate limit’ for the ICO, as determined in the ‘Freedom of
Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations
2004’ is £450. The ‘appropriate limit’ for the ICO, as determined in the
‘Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004’ is £450. We have determined that £450 would equate to
18 hours work.
It is for this reason that we are not obliged to comply with this part of
your request for information.
This concludes our response to your request.
If you are not satisfied that your request for information has been dealt
with correctly, please write to the Information Access Team at the address
below, reply directly to this email (with the reference number contained
within the square brackets left intact), or email us at
[ICO request email], quoting the reference number
Your request for a review should be submitted to us within 40 working days
of receipt by you of this response. Any such request received after this
time will only be considered at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Ultimately if you are not satisfied that your request for information has
been dealt with correctly you have a further right of appeal to this
office in our capacity as the statutory complaint handler under the
relevant legislation. To make such an application, please write to our
Customer Contact Team at the address below, or visit the ‘Report a
Concern’ section of our website.
A copy of our review procedure is available here
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 01625 545823 F. 01625 524510 ico.org.uk twitter.com/iconews
4. mailto:[ICO request email]