Access to information - complaints procedure

If you’re not happy with the Council's decision regarding an access to information request, you’ll find our complaints procedure below.

This procedure has been created to ensure complaints are handled in a fair, consistent and timely manner, and that your rights are upheld. All complaints about our service will be taken seriously and responded to appropriately, in accordance with our complaints policy.

In all cases, when dealing with complaints we will do the following:

  • make it clear what we intend to do about your complaint and what the timescales are
  • ensure your desired outcome is clearly defined
  • be fair and consistent
  • keep a record of complaints for audit and quality control purposes
  • ensure the monitoring officer is kept informed of complaints received

Stages in the access to information complaints procedure

Making a complaint

In the first instance all complaints should be addressed to the Information Governance Team, Castle House, Great North Road, Newark, Notts NG24 1BY within 40 days of the date of our formal response to your initial request.

Complaints should include:

  • the request reference number
  • the nature of the complaint
  • how you expect the situation to be resolved
  • your address for communication purposes

Stage one - informal stage 

A complaint made at this stage should be fairly straightforward to resolve. It might include you:

  • raising an issue or concern you have with the information you have received.
  • expecting something in addition to what you have received
  • being unsure of the timescales involved in sending the information and expecting it to arrive sooner

In these cases the Information Governance Team is responsible for replying to you and making you aware of the next stage in the process. You should expect a response within ten working days.

Any complaints received regarding the application of any exemptions will be directed to stage two of this procedure. 

Stage two - formal complaint and internal review

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome at stage one, you can ask for your complaint to go through an internal review.

The review will not be led by the Officer who dealt with the original decision, although it may be necessary to consult with them as part of this process. It will be referred to someone with the appropriate level of seniority and expertise. 

They will write to you with the findings of the review as soon as possible but in any event within 20 working days of the stage two complaint being received if your request was processed under the Freedom of Information Act, or 40 working days if your request was processed under the Environmental Information Regulations.

If there are likely to be any delays in meeting this deadline, you will be informed straight away.

When writing with the Council’s decision, the member of the Senior Leadership Team will advise you of your right to complain to the Information Commissioner if you are not satisfied with our response.

If you require a hard copy of any of the information on this page, or need any additional help and advice, please contact us by emailing or calling 01636 650000. There may be a charge for providing printed copies.