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Response Calculator

Response Calculator

Our response calculator is a guide to when you should expect receive a response when you make a freedom of information (FOI) request to a Scottish public authority.

FOI requests must be responded to within 20 working days. 'Working days' excludes weekends and public holidays.

For a list of 2023 and 2024 Scottish public holidays visit: Scottish bank holiday dates - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

A public authority must start counting the number of working days it has to respond on the first working day after it receives your request.

The calculator below is not suitable for authorities to use as it includes delivery times (which authorities have to disregard).


Calculate when you can expect a response

Please enter a submission type

You should expect a response by:

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the calculator work?

The calculator shows the last possible day by which you should have received a response from the authority. Authorities must respond to information requests within 20 working days and the law allows time for your request to arrive and the response to be delivered to you.

Working days are Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays. You can find out more about bank holidays here: Scottish bank holidays - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

If you have made your request by email:

  • the 20 working days will start on the first working day after your request was sent. If your request is sent on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, the first working day will be the following Monday (unless this is a bank holiday). 

If you have made your request by post:

  • count 3 days from the day after you sent it, plus 20 working days, plus a further 3 days for the response to be delivered to you. If the delivery date would be a Sunday, then add one day to allow for the delivery on the following day.
What happens if the response arrives earlier?

Our calculator shows the longest time you can expect to wait for a response. Authorities should respond to information requests as soon as they can, so it is quite likely that you will receive the response earlier than the time we have calculated here.

If this happens, you need to be aware that the time allowed for you to request a review or to appeal to the Commissioner starts from the day on which you actually receive the response, not the day shown in our calculator.

I am asking for environmental information. Are the timescales the same?
The organisation should reply to a request for information as soon as possible, but in most cases must do so within 20 working days. If you have made a complex request for information involving large amounts of material, the organisation is allowed up to 40 working days to reply. If it will take longer than 20 working days to provide the information, the organisation should let you know within 20 working days of receiving your request.
How long do I have to review or appeal an FOI response?

FOI gives you the right to ask for a review if you're unhappy with an FOI response. If you're unhappy with the response to an FOI review, you can also appeal the case to the Commissioner. You can find out more about your right to review or appeal a response at www.itspublicknowledge.info/what-if-im-unhappy 

Reviews and appeals must be made within the following time limits:

  • FOI reviews must be made within 40 working days of your receipt of an FOI response
  • Appeals to the Commissioner must be made within six months of your receipt of an FOI review response

You should use the actual date on which you receive the response from the public authority to work out your time limit for requesting a review or making an appeal to the Commissioner.

If you haven't receive a response, the period should be counted from the date by which you should have received a response.