Freedom of Information Complaints
You may apply to the Commissioner for a decision on
- whether the public authority has handled your request properly; or
- whether the public authority was justified in refusing to give you the information you requested.
The Commissioner must make a decision and issue a decision notice to you and the authority as soon as practicable.
However, the Commissioner is not required to make a decision:
- if you have not asked the authority to review its response;
- if there has been an undue delay in applying for a decision;
- your request to the Commissioner is the application is vexatious, malicious, frivolous, misconceived or lacking in substance.
In specified circumstances the Commissioner is prohibited from making a decision.
Can I make a complaint?
You cannot make a complaint to the Commissioner until you have asked the public authority to review its response to your FOI request.
If you are dissatisfied with that review, or you have not received a response to your review request within a reasonable period of time, then you can make a complaint to the Commissioner.
Your complaint should be made to the Commissioner as soon as possible - waiting longer than 28 days after receipt of the last meaningful correspondence from the authority would, in general, be considered as undue delay.
You will also need to submit copies of:
- Your information request to the authority
- The authority’s response to your information request including all the information supplied (if received)
- Your request for a review to the authority
- The authority’s response to your review request including all the information supplied (if received)
A complaint form is available below. This should be fully completed and you must provide as much narrative as possible to assist the Commissioner in making a decision.
If you choose to write or email instead please follow the form to make sure that you include everything that the Commissioner requires.