Guidelines from ICO on vexatious requests

The Information Commissioner has today released new guidelines to help deal with vexatious requests.

“A manifestly unjustified, inappropriate or improper use of a formal procedure.” Is how Judge Wikeley in the Upper Tribunal responded recently when considering an appeal which turned on the meaning of “vexatious” in relation to a Freedom of Information Act request.

The ICO has published new guidance on this area today, bringing greater clarity to one of the three circumstances under which an entire request can be rejected (alongside the cost limit rules and repeated requests).

The short answer to that is that the public authority should be asking itself whether the request is likely to cause a disproportionate or unjustified level of disruption, irritation or distress.


Please don’t forget that your trump card is probably the recent guidelines from the ICO that accepts information stored remotely from a computer on a back-up system is considered to be “Not Held”.

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