The Chief Ombudsman has published a new Official Information Act guide, Information not held.
This covers sections 18(e) and (g) of the Official Information Act 1982 and sections 17(e) and (g) of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987.
The guide notes that agencies cannot release information if they do not hold it, and there is no obligation for them to have to create it under official information legislation.
There are also some types of information an agency may physically hold, but which were never intended to be captured or accessible under the official information regime.
The guide explores some of the issues around whether information is held or not. It explains how the refusal grounds that are relevant in this context work.