Review of information requests
All requesters have the right to complain if they are unhappy with the handling of a request for information made under the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (subject access request (SAR)), Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) or Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
This could be because:
- an exemption was applied, meaning the request (or a part of it) was denied;
- the 20 working day deadline was not met;
- a full response was not provided; or
- the request was otherwise not handled correctly.
Request an internal review
If you are unhappy with the response you have received, you can request an internal review of the process by completing the online form within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests received after that time will only be progressed at our discretion.
In the first instance, an attempt will be made to respond to your complaint(s) swiftly and informally. If this is not possible, a full internal review will be carried out. You need not state your reasons for requesting an internal review, but it can help us to ensure your concerns are fully addressed if you do.
We shall conduct a review and respond no later than 40 working days following receipt of a request for review. Despite the 40 day backstop (which is reserved for particularly complex cases) we do aim to provide a full response within 20 working days.
The review will be conducted by an experienced officer who is independent of the original decision making. The reviewer will undertake a full re-evaluation of the case, taking into account the matters raised by the investigation of the complaint.
As part of the review, the reviewer will consider whether:
- the response provided was handled correctly under the terms of the FOIA / EIR / SAR
- there have been any developments since the original response
- the information contained within the response was correct and true, as of the date of responding
- any further information should be provided
- there are any lessons for handling requests in the future.
Once the review has been carried out, you will be notified in writing whether the original decision has been upheld (or otherwise), alongside the conclusions informing the decision.
If you are not happy with the decision of the internal review
If you remain dissatisfied after an internal review decision, you have the right to apply to the Information Commissioner's Office.