Before making a request
We publish a lot of information proactively. You can find this information in:
- our publication scheme
- our freedom of information responses
- our freedom of information updates and statistics page
We publish all of our responses for the previous three years on our website. We recommend searching our published responses before submitting a request. We also recommend that you read the guidance provided by the Information Commissioner's Office about how to use your rights of access effectively.
To make a request please fill in the form below, you will need to tell us:
- your name
- a contact address, either email or home address
- a detailed description of the information that you are looking for, including topic and a date range
- format of the information, electronic or print
Make a Freedom of Information request
Answering Freedom of Information requests
You can also email your request to FOI@electoralcommission.org.uk, or write to us at:
Access to Information Officer
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
We have offices in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. All FOI requests submitted by letter should be sent to the London Office.
We will respond to your request within 20 working days.
If we are unable to respond to your request within the 20 working days, we will contact you and give you an estimate of when we will respond more fully. If we are applying a qualified exemption we may need more than 20 working days to consider if disclosing the information is in the public interest.
We aim to be an open and transparent organisation but in some circumstances we cannot responsibly release the requested information. The Act does not require that we make new information or manipulate data to respond to a specific request.
The Freedom of Information Act recognises that there will be valid reasons why some kinds of information may be withheld, such as if its release would prejudice an investigation, damage commercial interests or constitute a criminal breach of other legislation. In such cases, we may withhold information under the relevant exemption.
There are two types of exemption under the Freedom of Information Act:
- absolute exemptions, which require no further test of the public interest in the release of the data as it breaches a fundamental right such as not releasing personal data of living individuals
- qualified exemptions, which require us to consider if it is in the public interest to disclose the information and this consideration and our decision will be included in the response
If your request is too large and will take over 24 hours or cost more than £600 for us to process it will be refused. We do not accept payment for large requests, and are not obliged to do so under the Act.
We may ask that you be more specific with your request or narrow down the scope of the information that you are looking for or if it is unclear to us what information that you are looking for. This is to help us identify the information that you need.
We do not accept requests that contain abusive language or are written with the intention to abuse, intimidate or threaten Electoral Commission staff. Requests that are abusive will be considered as vexatious.
If we do not provide you with the information you requested, you should first ask us to review our decision. You can submit a request for review via the form on this page after you have received a response from us.
You should explain why you want this review and what part of our decision you disagree with. For example, the application of the public interest test was not clear or the length of time it took for us to respond to your request was longer than the statutory deadline.
Our reviews are carried out by a member of the Senior Leadership Group within the Commission in a team or directorate that was not directly involved in the processing or response of your request.
We aim to respond to your request for Internal Review within 20 working days, where this is not possible we will respond within 40 working days.
If you are not satisfied with our response or the outcome of a review you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office on their website.
We actively publish our responses on the website for three years, sometimes longer after major electoral events.
If you want to know if we have previously responded on a topic or subject and it is not longer published online you can request these via our form.
The content of your request will be shared within the Electoral Commission as more than one team may hold information that is relevant to your request.
The contents of your request will also be shared with third parties as part of the process but your personal information will not be shared either internally or externally.
Our response will be published on our website, but your personal information will be redacted before publication.
- Electoral administrator
- Northern Ireland
- Political party
- UK wide