Help from the Information Commissioner

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Responding to your request

The organisation has to reply promptly, and at the most within 40 days, starting from the day they receive both the fee and the information they need to identify you and the information you need. A credit reference agency only has seven days to respond to a request for a credit file. If an organisation reasonably needs more information to help them find your information or identify you, as long as they tell you what they need, they do not have to deal with it until they have all the necessary information as well as the fee. The organisation should give you the information in writing but they need not do this if it is not possible or takes ‘disproportionate effort’ or you agree to some other form, such as seeing it on screen. The Act does not define what disproportionate effort means but we think the following should be taken into account:

  •  The cost of giving you the information
  •  The length of time it will take
  •  How difficult it will be
  •  The size of the organisation
  •  The effect on you of not having the information in permanent form.