Refusal of Request & Writing a Refusal Notice

A scheduled public authority (SPA) has two basic obligations under the Freedom of Information (Jersey) Law, 2011:

  • To inform an applicant that information is not held (Art.10(1)), or
  • To supply the person with information (Art.8(b)).


If an SPA refuses the request it must explain why to the applicant. If this is on the grounds of an exemption or would exceed the cost limits under Article 16(1) and the Freedom of Information (Costs) (Jersey) Regulations 2014, then it must always issue the applicant with a refusal notice informing them of its decision.

An SPA relying on an Article 21 or 22 exemption must also issue a refusal notice unless it has already done so in response to an earlier vexatious or repeated request from the same individual, and it would be unreasonable to issue another one.

The refusal notice must:

  • State the Article of the Law being relied upon and in most instances explain the reasons for its decision, with details of any public interest and prejudice tests
  • Provide the applicant with details of the SPA’s internal complaints procedure
  • Inform the applicant of their right to complain to the Information Commissioner


The refusal notice should be issued promptly and within 20 working days after the request was received. If the SPA needs further time to consider the request, it should write to the applicant to provide an estimated date by which the request will be completed.

Where the applicant has asked for their own personal data, we’d expect the SPA to treat this as a subject access request under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law, 2005 (“the Data Protection Law”), rather than issuing a refusal notice under Article 25 of the Law.


You can read more detail about writing refusal notices in our guide.