If you made an FOI request over the Christmas period, be aware of a strange anomaly regarding time for compliance
Everyone knows that the time for compliance by a public authority with a request made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) is twenty working days. Section 10 of FOIA says
a public authority must comply with [a request for information made under] section 1(1) promptly and in any event not later than the twentieth working day following the date of receipt
A “working day” means (by s10(6))
any day other than a Saturday, a Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a day which is a bank holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in any part of the United Kingdom. [emphasis added]
This means that, even when a request is made in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, to a English, Welsh or Northern Irish public authority, under FOIA (which in relevant part only applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland has its own Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002), the existence of a Scottish bank holiday during the relevant period effectively extends the time for compliance by one day.
The 2nd of January is a bank holiday in Scotland.
So, think twice before you chase a public authority this month about a request you think is one day overdue.