The following Environment practice note Produced in partnership with Patrick Senior of Stephenson Harwood provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
When responding to a request for information, the first step should be to determine whether the information requested is environmental information, and therefore whether the request falls within the remit of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR 2004), SI 2004/3391 or the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FIA 2000).
For clean guidance on this, see Practice Note: Environmental Information Regulations 2004—what is environmental information?
This Practice Note focuses on the next steps that a public authority should take on receiving a request for environmental information.
As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content.
For further guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—impact on environmental law and News Analysis: Brexit Bulletin—key updates, research tips and resources.
Public authorities should ensure that their employees and contractors are aware of the obligations placed on them by the EIR 2004 so that they understand the significance of requests for information.
Public authorities should also allocate responsibility for handling requests for information to a specific person or department, forming an 'information team'. It is advisable to create a centralised approach to receiving and responding to requests for information, as it
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