Anyone, anywhere in the world, can make a Freedom of Information request. You do not have to be a UK citizen or resident of the UK to request information.
Requests may be submitted to us by mail or email. Please send the requests to:
We have a duty to reply to your request within 20 working days. This time limit can be extended where we are considering whether it is in the public interest to disclose the information. If that is the case we will still write to you within 20 days informing you that we are still considering your request and giving an estimate of when we will respond more fully.
For detailed information on the Freedom of Information Act, its scope and your rights to information visit the Information Commissioner's website.
From the week commencing 5 April 2010, you can access our Freedom of Information publication scheme, which explains what information we make available generally to the public, and aims wherever possible to provide an easy method of accessing it.
You can also access requests that were submitted to us, or to our predecessor the Boundary Committee for England, since the Act came fully into force in January 2005.
We are committed to the principles of openness and transparency in public life. However, mistakes may be made from time to time that need to be put right, and we recognise that people may feel dissatisfied with the way in which we release information, or deal with information requests. This information below explains how you can require us to conduct an internal review of how we handled your request for information, or a review of our publication scheme, and how we will conduct that review.
This procedure explains how to obtain a review of:
This includes any review of how we have handled your information request, e.g. the way we acted, or failed to act, the way in which we communicated with you, or the time taken to respond.
For example, you may ask us to conduct a review if you think we have:
Please note that responses stating that we hold no information about a request are not subject to internal review. Any concerns that you have in relation to such matters should be referred directly to the Information Commissioner's Office, contact details of which are at the bottom of this page.
Any concerns that you have about our actions that do not concern either our publication scheme or an information request will not be dealt with under this procedure but will instead fall under our general complaints procedure.
Please provide your name and address. If you are asking for an internal review regarding an information request you have submitted, we would find it useful if you also provided the reference number we assigned to that request.
We need to understand the circumstances behind your request for a review. For your assistance, we have provided a form below: you are not required to use it, but the form lists the information which we need to be able to conduct the review properly.
You should direct all your requests for a review under this procedure to our Freedom of Information Officer, who will ensure that your request is assigned to an appropriate member of Commission staff to investigate.
Our contact and address are as follows:Freedom of Information Officer
Where appropriate, we may attempt to address your concerns swiftly and satisfactorily on an informal basis. Where this is not appropriate, we will acknowledge your request, provide a deadline within which we will conduct the review and respond fully to you, and will let you know who has been assigned to investigate.
If you are requesting a review involving our Publication Scheme, then it will normally be investigated by the Commission's Freedom of Information Officer. We will seek to keep you informed of the progress of the review.
If you are requesting a review involving an information request, then it will be investigated by a member of Commission staff who was not involved in dealing with that original request. Where reasonably practicable, this investigator will be senior to the person who dealt with your original information request, but where this is not possible it will instead be somebody of equal seniority to that person.
All reviews will be thoroughly and fairly conducted. The investigator will review how the issues were handled and decisions were made, including decisions about where the public interest lies in respect of exempt information, in a full re-evaluation of the case. The investigator will then take a fresh decision, having reconsidered of all the factors relevant to your information request.
We will make every effort to send a detailed response within 20 working days. Where this is not possible (e.g. due to the complexity of the case), you will receive a letter explaining why, and giving a date by which you will receive a detailed reply. In any event, we will not exceed 40 working days in responding to your request.
The investigator will write to you after the matter has been investigated explaining in detail the outcome of your review. Where the investigator decides that information should be disclosed which was previously withheld, then the information in question will be disclosed as soon as practicable and we will inform you how soon this will be. Where the investigator decides that the Commission's procedures were not properly followed by our staff, then the Commission will apologise to you and will take appropriate steps to prevent similar errors occurring in future.
If you are not satisfied with our response, then the next step is to make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office. The staff who conduct your review will be able to provide further details. Alternatively, information about how to make a complaint to the ICO is available here.
The ICO can be contacted at:FOI/EIR Complaints Resolution
Telephone: 08456 30 60 60