Defra FOI fail

Dear Defra

I sent you an FOI request at 1:58pm on 9 March.


You acknowledged it with an automated response at 1:59 on 9 March as follows:

Thank you for your email. We have a target of replying to emails within 15 working days where a response is required, and 20 working days where a case is handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you need a reply before then, please call the Defra Helpline on 03459 33 55 77, or visit
We often receive thousands of identical emails each month from organised campaigns. Ministers and officials are made aware of these campaigns, but unfortunately we cannot reply to each email when such large volumes are received.
Best wishes,
Ministerial Contact Unit
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) This email and any attachments is intended for the named recipient only. If you have received it in error you have no authority to use, disclose, store or copy any of its contents and you should destroy it and inform the sender. Whilst this email and associated attachments will have been checked for known viruses whilst within Defra systems we can accept no responsibility once it has left our systems. Communications on Defra’s computer systems may be monitored and/or recorded to secure the effective operation of the system and for other lawful purposes.
You are way out of time.  Please reply by the end of the week or I shall initiate a complaint through your internal system and carry it on to the information commissioner when you fail to comply.
PS the request was for confirmation of reported remarks made by your Secretary of State – you know, Mr Gove.

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