Environmental Information Regulations Exemptions
Sometimes information you request may not be supplied due to exemptions in the Regulations
How many exceptions do the Regulations have?
The Regulations have three main exceptions. The Regulations do not replace or override existing legislation which says we cannot disclose information, the position remains the same. All the exceptions in the EIR’s are subject to the public interest test.
What is the public interest test?
The public interest test is a balancing act. The Council has to weigh up all the competing factors for and against the disclosure of information in order to decide whether or not releasing the information into the public domain will serve the public interest or adversely affect it. The presumption lies in favour of disclosure.
What are the exceptions?
Below is a quick guide to the exceptions which the Council may use to withhold environmental information.
Regulation 12(3) If the information is considered to be personal data which will identify a living individual
Regulation 12(4) Refusal can be made if:
a) Information is not held
b) The request is manifestly unreasonable
c) The request is too general
d) The request is for unfinished documents or data
e) Internal Communication
Regulation 12(5)Refusal can be made if disclosure would adversely affect the following:
a) International relations/Public Security/Defence
b) The course of Justice and right to fair trial
c) Intellectual property rights
d) Confidentiality of proceedings
e) Commercial confidentiality
f) The interests of the person who provided the information
g) Protection of the environment