The complainant has requested an assessment report from the Rural Payments Agency (‘RPA’). The RPA’s position is that it does not hold the requested information. During the Commissioner’s investigation, the complainant confirmed that he accepted that the RPA does not hold the information he requested. But he remains dissatisfied with how the RPA handled his request. The Commissioner’s decision is as follows: With regard to the matter of advice and assistance, the RPA did not breach regulation 9(1) of the EIR. The RPA complied with regulation 9(2) of the EIR because it provided the complainant with timely and adequate advice and assistance with regard to clarifying his request of 29 July 2019. With regard to the timeliness of any internal review, the RPA did not breach regulation 11(4) of the EIR as the complainant did not submit a request for a review to the RPA. The exception under regulation 12(4)(a) is engaged as the RPA did not hold the requested information at the time the complainant submitted his request for it. The RPA complied with regulation 14(2) as it refused the clarified request of 16 August 2020 within the required timescale. The Commissioner does not require the RPA to take any remedial steps.
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