ARCHIVE: Verbal requests for environmental information

The Environmental Information Regulations allow requests for information to be made verbally

There is no need for the applicant to state that they are making a request under the Environmental Information Regulations.

If the applicant’s request/question is for environmental information, as defined in our short guidance and it is not what you would describe as a "business as usual" request, it must be treated as an official information request.

Although it would be helpful for the applicant to send their request in writing, if it is complex, you can by no means insist on this.

You will need to ask the requester for contact details in order to reply to the request. It is advisable to confirm your understanding of the request by letter or email before you start dealing with the request.

A written record of the request and receipt date should be kept as this will be needed to deal with the request and may come in useful at a later stage, should the applicant make an appeal to the Information Commissioner

The time scale for verbal requests is the same as that for requests in any other format (20 working days).

A formal request cannot be answered verbally; the usual requirement for the form and format of responses applies. Detailed in point 6.13 of the guidance (PDF) (73 KB)

Page last modified: 9 October 2007
Page published: 13 February 2006