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Our expertise

We can help you navigate the process of obtaining information from public authorities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA) and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR).

Our team is experienced in advising NGOs and campaigning organisations on complex freedom of information requests, from the initial request through to internal review, and complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). 

We are frequently instructed to pursue requests for information to further an organisation’s campaigning objectives and are experienced in challenging public authorities’ reliance on exemptions to the requirement of disclosure. 

We can help you utilise this legislation and ensure that where disclosure is in the public interest, information is not unreasonably withheld from you. We will quickly get to the core of the issues and provide reasoned advice and assistance with challenging refusals to provide information.

The law

The FOIA and the EIR serve the same purpose of enabling the public to access information held by public authorities. However, the EIR applies only to environmental information, while the FOIA covers everything else. Public authorities have two obligations under these acts: Firstly, they are required to publish certain information about their activities. Secondly, members of the public have the right to request information from public authorities.

Public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces. These bodies must provide information in response to a written request, provided the information is not covered by an exemption specified in the FOIA/EIR. 

How we can help you

Requesting Information We can help you draft a request to give you the best chance of obtaining the information.
Information Refusals – Our team will advise you on whether the relevant body has improperly relied on an exemption to the requirement to disclose and help you to challenge the refusal by way of an internal review.
ComplaintsIf the authority continues to unreasonably refuse to provide the information, we can help you with a complaint to the ICO or assist with appeals to the Tribunal following the outcome of an ICO investigation. 
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