Dealing with repeated requests Article 22(2)
If a scheduled public authority (SPA) receives identical or similar requests from the same individual, the SPA doesn’t have to comply with the request under Article 22(2) of the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law, 2011. There is no public interest test.
An SPA may only apply Article 22 where:
• An applicant has previously made a request for information, which the SPA has complied with; and
• The applicant makes a request for information that is identical or substantially similar.
If neither of these conditions applies, the SPA must deal with the request as normal.
A request will be identical if both its scope and its wording precisely matches a previous request. It will be substantially similar if:
(a) The wording is different but the scope of the request is the same; or
(b) The scope doesn’t differ significantly from that of the previous request.
If the information is unlikely to be different then the SPA will need to consider the amount of time between requests and decide whether this is enough to make it reasonable to provide the same information again.
How do you define a reasonable interval? This depends whether any of the information caught within the scope of the request differs or has changed during that time.
If the SPA decides it’s a repeated request, it must issue a refusal notice – unless one has already been served to the applicant for a previous request for the same information and it would be unreasonable to issue another one.
You can read more detail about dealing with repeated requests under Article 22 in our guide. It will help you to fully understand your obligations, maintain consistency and promote good practice.