Standard letters and additional guidance

House of Commons Departments have produced additional Freedom of Information guidance relating to their work:

Additional guidance


The Information Commissioner has also produced relevant guidance:

Standard letters

1 Information has already been published by the House
Thank you for your letter of [insert date] which was received on [insert date]. The information you have requested is available under the House of Commons Publication Scheme. [I enclose a copy / The information can be accessed at... ]

2 Acknowledgment of request
Thank you for your letter of [insert date] which was received on [insert date]. We shall deal with your request promptly and let you have a response by [plus 20 working days from date of receipt]. Please contact me if you have any queries relating to your request.

3 Nothing found
Thank you for your letter dated [insert date]. We have searched our records and taken all reasonable steps to locate the information requested but have not been able to do so. [Describe searches which were carried out.] So far as we are able to determine, the House of Commons does not hold the information requested.

4 Not held by the House, but re-apply to another public authority
Thank you for your letter [insert date]. The House of Commons does not hold the information requested. [Name of public authority] may hold the information you are seeking. If you have not already done so then you may wish to write to [name of public authority and address].

5 Closing paragraphs
The House will consider complaints in relation to its handling of this request. These should be addressed to [email protected] or Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make. If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

6 Refusal under s34 to closed committee files
The Parliamentary Archives at the House of Lords have forwarded your request for access to closed House of Commons files. In response to your request, we have reviewed the following files: [list files].

The information you have requested is exempt from disclosure under section 34 (parliamentary privilege) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the House is under no duty to confirm or deny the presence of particular documents in the files if doing so would prejudice the privileges of the House. The application of this exemption is required for the purpose of avoiding a breach of the privileges of the House of Commons because any such information would relate to the unpublished proceedings of a Select Committee.

The House will consider complaints in relation to its handling of this request. These should be addressed to [email protected] or Freedom of Information Officer, Department of HR and Change, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Please ensure that you specify the nature of your complaint and any arguments or points that you wish to make. If the decision to apply section 34 of the Act in respect of your request is upheld, then a certificate signed by the Speaker may be issued. This certificate would provide conclusive evidence that the exemption is required for the purpose described above. If you remain dissatisfied, you may appeal to the Information Commissioner at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

7 Acknowledgment of request for internal review
Thank you for your letter/email dated [insert date], requesting an internal review of Freedom of Information request [insert reference] which was received on [insert date]. We will endeavour to respond within 20 working days, i.e. on or before [insert date]. However, if the review is complex or requires wider than usual consultation, it may be necessary to extend this deadline by another 20 working days. If this is the case, and your review cannot be completed in the shorter timeframe, we will inform you of this.



Related information

Information Commissioner

The Information Commissioner's Office is the UK's independent authority set up to promote access to official information and to protect personal information. Further information about relevant laws is available on the Information Commissioner's Office website.

 

Relevant legislation

The official, revised edition of relevant legislation can be found in the UK Statute Law Database through the following links

Records Management