How should I word my request?

Your request should set out clearly the information you want, this will help us to provide you with the information you would like to receive and prevent any possible delays in us responding to your request.

You have a right to request the information and you don’t necessarily have to specify particular documents - although it helps if your request is clear

The following advice and examples should help you make your request:

  • Be as clear as possible. If we aren't sure what you want, we will have to ask you for further explanation
  • Try to pinpoint what you really want. Sometimes we may refuse a request if it would be too expensive or time consuming to deal with
  • Where possible, ask for specific information rather than using open-ended questions. ‘What or ‘how much’ are more likely to get a useful response than ‘why’
  • Use straightforward, polite language; avoid basing your request on assumptions or opinions, or mixing requests with complaints or comments


Good Examples Bad Examples
Please send me copies of the inspection reports relating to the Bridge over the River Don at Kirk Bramwith near Doncaster from 2008 to 2012. Please send me any information you hold about the bridge over the River Don near Doncaster 
Please send me a copy of your complaints procedure. Why does your authority seem to think it is acceptable to treat its customers with contempt?
 Please send me a copy of the consultation report on Boat Licence Fees for this year. Why have you decided to increase our Boat Licence fee this year?

Last date edited: 23 September 2015