Access to information - complaints procedure

If you are dissatisfied with the council's decision regarding an access to information request, please follow our complaints procedure.

This procedure has been produced to ensure complaints are handled in a fair, consistent and timely manner and that peoples' rights are upheld

All complaints about the service we provide 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
  • deal with complaints fairly and consistently
  • keep a record of complaints for audit and quality control purposes
  • ensure the Monitoring Officer is kept informed of the complaints that are received

Stages in the complaints procedure

Making a complaint

In the first instance all complaints should be addressed to the Information Governance Officer at the address given on this page within 40 days of the date of our formal response to your initial request. Complaints should include the request reference number, nature of the complaint, how you expect the situation to be resolved and an address for communication purposes.

Stage 1 - Informal stage

A complaint made at this stage should be fairly straightforward to resolve.

You may wish to raise an issue or concern you have with the information you have received. You may have been expecting something in addition to what you have received or may be unsure of the timescales involved in sending the information and were expecting it to arrive sooner.

In these cases the Information Governance Officer is responsible for replying to you. You should expect a response within 10 working days.

The Information Governance Officer will make you aware of the next stage in the process.

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

Stage 2 - Formal complaint and internal review

If you remain dissatisfied with the outcome at stage 1, you can ask for your complaint to go through an internal review.

The Information Governance Officer will pass this over to a member of the Senior Leadership Team who has not been involved with the request or complaint until this point. They will write to you to advise you what steps are being taken to investigate the complaint.

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 2 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 dissatisfied with the council’s response.

If you require a hard copy of any of the information on this page please contact us. There may be a charge for providing printed copies.


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