The complainant has requested information from Lewisham Council about housing benefit claims. Lewisham Council disclosed some information within the scope of the request and for the remainder has relied on section 12 FOIA – costs of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit. The Commissioner’s decision is that Lewisham Council is entitled to rely on section 12in respect of the entire request. Lewisham Council responded to the request outside of the statutory 20 day time limit and accordingly has breached section 10 FOIA. The Commissioner also notes that the complainant was not provided with any advice and assistance in line with the duty set out at section 16 FOIA. The Commissioner considers that Lewisham Council has therefore also breached section 16 FOIA. The Commissioner does not require Lewisham Council (the council) to take any steps.
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