The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject.
The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 provide public access to environmental information held by public authorities.
The Regulations do this in two ways:
public authorities must make environmental information available proactively;
members of the public are entitled to request environmental information from public authorities.
The Regulations cover any recorded information held by public authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Environmental information held by Scottish public authorities is covered by the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.
Some sensitive information might not be available to members of the public. If this is the case, the organisation must tell you why they have withheld some or all of the information you requested.
An organisation can turn down your request if they think it will cost them more than £450 (£600 for a central government organisation) to deal with your request.
We have made dozens of FOI and E.I.R requests using the WhatDoTheyKnow? Website at whatdotheyknow.com. This site is operated by a UK charity, and provides the mechanism for submitting FOI requests and storing the responses from the public authorities. The replies are stored and made publicly available on the WhatDoTheyKnow website.
As the FOI requests tend to be quite wordy in order to explain exactly what is requested, and as there are also acknowledgements and such, the real message is sometimes in danger of getting lost. For that reason, for each FOI/E.I.R request, we will be summarising what information has been asked for, who we have asked, and what reply we received. Links will be provided to each of these components, and for the lawyers amongst you, we will also provide the link to the full request.
If you agree or disagree with our interpretations of the information supplied then why not tell us why, or maybe you have noticed something that we haven’t in the smallprint.