Clarification from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding an Environmental Information Request

The Town Council has received clarification from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) regarding an Environmental Information Request received by a member of the public on the 29th of September 2022.

A brief summary of the steps the Town Council takes when a request for information is received

  1. Any request for information is forwarded to the relevant officer of the Council.
  2. The officer will access the request. With all requests, there is a presumption to disclose; however, some information has an exemption to not disclose.
  3. If there is an exemption, the team member will apply a public interest test (if required).
  4. If the requested information cannot be disclosed based on the public interest test, then the officer will notify the requestor.
  5. The Town Council then offers the requestor the right to an internal appeal.
  6. If the requestor requests an internal review, it is forwarded to another officer who is independent of the original request and outcome.
  7. If the officer agrees with the actions taken by the first officer, they inform the requestor and offer a right of appeal to the ICO.
  8. The ICO will conduct an independent review and request details on how the Council came to the conclusion not to disclose the requested information.
  9. If the ICO does not agree with the Council’s decision, it will issue a Decision Notice directing the Council to publish the requested information. The ICO issued 238 Decision Notices in February 2023. 
  10. The Council can appeal this decision if they do not agree with the Decision Notice.

The ICO conducted an independent review of the request, received in September. A Decision Notice was issued, and the council was asked to publish the information. A copy of this Decision Notice can be found by clicking here. The Town Council was happy to comply with the outcome, and the information was published on the 24th of February, 2023. Click here to review the disclosed information.

On the same day, the Town Council was accused of failing to publish the requested information. Therefore, the Town Council requested clarity from the ICO and today, the 1st of March, the ICO confirmed that:

 . . . We have advised the complainant that we consider the Council to have complied with our Decision Notice issued on 14 February 2023 and that we will not be taking further action in relation to this complaint. . . 

The Town Council wishes to thank the ICO for providing clarification and an outcome that we, and hopefully the requestor, are satisfied with. 

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