Reference: 1-42849770
Dear Mr Abel
Thank you for your request for information dated 25 January 2008, which we have considered under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act).
I deal with your questions in turn below:
1 how many times has ofcom used section 40 of the freedom of information act 2000 
   in order withhold information from customers?
Ofcom does not keep records that specifically detail the number of times exemptions under the Act are used.  In the case of section 40, the exemption may be used to redact personal information such as names or contact details from a range of different documents.  To extract this information, we would need to search through material relating to individual requests.  As Ofcom has received almost 3,000 requests in total, this information is not readily accessible as a considerable amount of time would be needed to locate, retrieve, identify and extract any relevant information. Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 provides that a public authority is not obliged to comply with a request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the ?appropriate limit?. The appropriate limit is set out in the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004, and is, for Ofcom, ?450. That sum is intended to cover the estimated costs involved in determining whether Ofcom holds the information requested, identifying, locating, retrieving and extracting the information from any document containing it. The Regulations provide that costs are to be estimated at a rate of ?25 per person per hour. Ofcom estimates that it would take at least 18 hours to identify, locate and extract the information you require and as such the cost of complying with your request will exceed the appropriate limit. We will therefore not be able to provide information on this part of your request.
2 how many customers have appealed such decisions  to graham howell and what was the outcomes?
There have been two requests for internal reviews in the last year.  In one case, we upheld our original decision and the other (yours) is still under consideration.
3 how many times has ofcom had its section 40 decisions  under the freedom of information act 2000 referred to  
   the  information commissioner and what was the outcomes?
There was one case where our use of section 40 was referred to the Information Commissioner.  We provided some of the requested information and the case was withdrawn by the requestor.
You should ensure that when using the provided information in any way, including publishing the information, you comply with all relevant legislation.  For example, the information provided may be protected by copyright under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended).  If in doubt, please seek independent legal advice.  For Ofcom?s policy on copyright and related issues, please refer to our website at
If, having read this information, you have any queries, please let me know.
Carole Gorman


:: Carole Gorman

   Information Requests

:: Ofcom

   Riverside House, 2a Southwark Bridge Rd

   London, SE1 9HA


If you are unhappy with the response or level of service you have received in relation to your request from Ofcom, you may ask for an internal review.   If you ask us for an internal review of our decision, it will be treated as a formal complaint and will be subject to an independent review within Ofcom.  We will acknowledge the complaint and inform you of the date by which you might expect to be told the outcome.

The following outcomes are possible:

? the original decision is upheld; or

? the original decision is reversed or modified.



 If you wish to exercise your right to an internal review you should contact us within two months of the date of this letter. There is no statutory deadline for undertaking internal reviews and it will depend upon the complexity of the case, but we aim to conclude all internal reviews within 2 months. If you wish to request an internal review, you should contact:


Graham Howell

The Secretary to the Corporation


Riverside House

2a Southwark Bridge Road

London SE1 9HA


If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:


Information Commissioner?s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane




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