Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get information?

Once a written request for information is received, we have twenty working days to respond – although that time can be extended. We will contact you and explain why we might need to extend the time limit. It is also easier for us to help you access the information requested if you stipulate quite clearly what information you require. Make sure that you provide us with a name, address and contact telephone number.

What happens if the information is not available?

The FOI Act does not require us to gather information that is not already there. But we are required to assist you with your request and will contact you and tell you what information we do hold that might help to answer your enquiry, or we will suggest who you might contact for further help.

What if I am refused information?

We will tell you if information is being withheld and why. We will also advise you who to contact if you are not happy. You can contact the Northern Ireland Information Commissioner but you are required to contact us first to attempt to sort out the matter before contacting the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner will want to see proof of that before getting involved. So do get in touch with us if you are not happy and tell us why you believe we are wrongly withholding information from you. If you are not satisfied with our answer, please contact the Information Commissioner.

Where can I get more information about the FOI Act?

You can get more information about the FOI Act from the Northern Ireland Information Commissioner.