Freedom of Information Requests Received and Section 21 Exemptions

“I would like to make an FOI request for the following pieces of information:


How many FOI requests did you receive in the year Jan 1st 2016 – Dec 31st 2016 (or your equivalent business/financial year), and;

1,372 requests from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2016.


How many FOI Section 21 exemptions did you employ during this same time period?”

Devon County Council does not record the exemptions that we cite in a particular response in a manner that can be easily extracted from our systems.  Therefore in order to provide the number of Section 21 exemptions we have relied upon we would need to review all 1,372 requests we have received in 2016 and then manually record whether the Section 21 exemption was applied.  We estimate that to carry out this exercise for a single request would take one minute.  Therefore to conclude this exercise for all 1,372 requests received in 2016 would take approximately 23 hours to complete.

Under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 public authorities are not obliged to comply with requests which exceed the cost limit of £450 (equating to 18 hours of time).  For this reason we believe that Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act applies (cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limits).

In the interests of providing advice and assistance, please note that from April 2017 all of our FOI and EIR disclosures are publicly available on the Council’s disclosure log which is provided here.  You are therefore, welcome to review our responses yourself should you wish.