ARCHIVE: Environmental information regulations appeals procedures

An internal procedure for handling complaints must be provided by each public authority.

Appeals can be made to the Information Commissioner if the requestor considers that the outcome of the internal review is unsatisfactory.

The outcome of that appeal may be referred to the Information Tribunal by either the requestor or the public authority.

Internal review

Regulation 11 of the Environmental Information Regulations allows a person who has requested information to make representation to the authority if it appears to the applicant that the authority has not complied with the requirements of the Regulations in relation to the request.

A public authority must not charge for considering these representations, and must inform the requester of their decision as soon as possible, and no later than 40 working days after the representations are received.

Information Commissioner

Regulation 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations allows a person to complain to the Information Commissioner if they consider that the authority has not dealt with the request in accordance with the Regulations.

The appeal must be made in writing and as soon as possible after receiving notification of the outcome of the internal review by the public authority.

There is no statutory time limit for the Information Commissioner to complete consideration of the appeal. The Information Commissioner should, however, respond in an efficient and timely manner. Unless the authority appeals against the decision of the Information Commissioner the authority must comply with the decision of the Information Commissioner.

Tribunal

Regulation 18 of the Environmental Information Regulations also provides for rights of appeals to the Information Tribunal.

For more detailed guidance see

Page published: 19 September 2005