Freedom of information (FOI) / Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) requests
How to make a request for recorded information we hold
- Your right to know
Under the Freedom of Information Act and the Environmental Information Regulations you have a right to request any recorded information held by, or on behalf of, the County Council.
- Before you make a request
If the information you are looking for is personal information that the County Council holds on you, then you will need to submit a subject access request.
- The FOI process
We will have 20 working days in which to give a full response. We will write to you to:
- acknowledge your request
- ask for more details or clarification if your request is not clear
- say whether a fee is required to provide the information requested
- let you know of any reason your request may be refused or if any of the information you have requested falls under exemptions or exceptions
- give a timescale for completing your request if that information cannot be provided immediately or if a third party must be consulted
- where information can be disclosed, we will normally provide you with a copy of the information or a summary, in the format which you have requested for example, electronic. If we do not hold the information requested, we may be able to transfer your request to another public authority that does
We will inform you in writing if your request for information is turned down and tell you why your request has been refused. The main reasons why we may refuse all or part of your request are:
- we don’t hold the information
- it would cost too much to comply
- the request is vexatious or repeated
- the information is exempt from disclosure under one of the legally permitted exemptions or exceptions
If the information you request relates to the environment, it will be handled in accordance with the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).
- If your request is refused
If you feel our refusal is unjustified, you can ask us to review it. If, after an internal review, you are still not satisfied then you can ask the Information Commissioner to decide whether your request has been dealt with in accordance with the Act.
- Tips to making a request
Please provide as much information as you can and try to be precise about what you are looking for.
Requests for information should be made in writing. If you are unable to make the request in writing, for example due to a disability, you should seek assistance from another person or agency (such as a Citizens Advice Bureau) to assist you with your request or make the request on your behalf. In exceptional circumstances, the County Council is able to take requests over the telephone and send confirmation of your request to you. The statutory timescale will begin when confirmation is received.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has produced a simple guide to making an FOI request (including EIRs)
If you need further advice or assistance about making a request, either before making a request, or during the process, please contact us at FOI@hants.gov.uk or phone 01962 846522
Freedom of Information Team
Hampshire County Council
Winchester SO23 8UJ
- Make an information request