Placing a Request

There are two pieces of legislation which ensure information can be requested. These are the Freedom of Information Act (FOI Act) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs).

Do I need to know which piece of legislation to mention?

No. You don't need to understand the way that either the FOI Act or the EIRs work. That is our responsibility. Although they are very similar there are some important differences. You do not need to mention them when you place your request, although it is helpful if you mention the FOI Act which is more well-known.

How do I make a request?

The FOI Act states that all requests have to:

  • be in writing
  • specify the information requested
  • provide a name and contact details for response

They should be directed to the Senior Information Officer via the FOI Inbox: please see the relevant contact details at the bottom of the page.

The EIRs do not state that a request has to be in writing, so you can place a request verbally (tel: 01793 414567). However it may be better, for the sake of clarity, if you write to us. If you do phone we will let you know if you have not requested information that is covered by the EIRs and need to place your request in writing.

When can I expect to receive a reply?

Both the FOI Act and EIRs state that public authorities must respond to all requests for information under these pieces of legislation within 20 working days following receipt of your request. Therefore you should receive a response to your request no later than this deadline.

Will I get what I ask for?

While we are as open as possible about the way that we operate and aim to provide information that is requested, it is not always possible to provide you with the information.

A request can be refused for a number of reasons such as commercial confidentiality or a risk of breaching the Data Protection Act. The reasons why information has not been provided to you will be explained when we reply. If you are unhappy with the response, you can request an internal review.

Access to Information