Guide Freedom of Information Request guide

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4. What happens if you submit an Individual Access Request?

If you submit a request under the Act, the council is legally required to provide the information within 20 working days of receipt, but the council will attempt to provide it sooner if possible.

Your request will be acknowledged in writing. Staff will then find the information and check if any exemptions apply. The council will then contact you to make suitable arrangements for you to view it or receive a copy.  If it is clearly going to take longer than 20 working days to collate the information you have requested, we will tell you why and how long it will take.

If the information cannot be released due to an exemption, or the cost of retrieving that information exceeds the threshold set out in the act, or if the council does not hold the information, we will tell you.

Examples of exemptions, that information that will not be provided to the public, are listed below:

  • information is already reasonably accessible to the public by other means (for example, it may already be listed in the Publication Scheme or available on this web site)
  • personal information (this is covered by the Data Protection Act 1998)
  • information provided to the council in confidence
  • information prohibited from disclosure under other laws, obligations or legislation
  • information which may prejudice law enforcement matters; legal professional privilege; information which would prejudice the commercial interests of any person
  • you can use the online FOI request form  or put your request in writing to:

Information and Complaints Officer
East Devon District Council
Blackdown House, Border Road
Heathpark Industrial Estate
EX14 1EJ

Or fax us on 01395 517501. For more information telephone 01395 516551 or email