The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) allow public access to information held by Anglia Ruskin University that relates directly to the environment.
Environmental information includes information about air, water, soil, land, flora and fauna, energy, noise, waste and emissions. Environmental Information also includes information about decisions, policies and activities that affect the environment.
Anglia Ruskin University will disclose environmental information in most cases as unlike with FOI, there are no absolute exemptions and we would apply a presumption in favour of disclosure. There are, however, a number of exceptions that may be used to refuse a request, subject to the public interest test. These are listed below.
If we do refuse a request, we will provide a full explanation as to why the public interest in maintaining the exception outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) Exceptions
The possible exceptions include:-
Reg 12 (4) (a) The Information is not held
If we do not hold the information, we are unable to provide it.
Reg 12 (4) (b) The request is manifestly unreasonable
Where a request is considered vexatious or where the amount of information requested would take an unreasonable amount of time to locate.
Reg 12 (4) (c) Where the request is considered ‘too general’
If the request is considered too general, we may not be able to respond to it. We will however contact the requestor to attempt to narrow down the request. If this is not possible, we will be unable to respond.
Reg 12 (4) (d) The request is related to material which is still in the course of completion
If the information is not complete and is intended for future publication, we will inform the applicant of the publication date but not release any information until then.
Reg 12 (4) (e) Disclosure of Internal Communications
This exception covers a wide range of internal communications. It includes circumstances where a “private thinking space” for officials is required before any information is disclosed.
Reg 12 (5) (a) International relations, defence, national security or public safety
Where disclosure would affect international relations, defence, national security or public safety
Reg 12 (5) (b) The course of justice
Where disclosure would harm the ability of a person to obtain a fair trial, or an authority to conduct an inquiry of a criminal or disciplinary nature.
Reg 12 (5) (c) Intellectual Property Rights
Where the information relates to patents, trademarks, unregistered designs and disclosure would undermine these.
Reg 12 (5) (d) Confidentiality of Proceedings
Where the information relating to investigative, regulatory and other activities is carried out according to a statutory scheme.
Reg 12 (5) (e) Confidentiality of Commercial or Industrial Information
Commercially sensitive information such as trade secrets, information from contractors, information as part of a tendering or procurement process, information held by regulators.
Reg 12 (5) (f) Against the Interests of the Supplier of Information
Where the supplier of the information has not consented to its disclosure.
Reg 12 (5) (g) Protection of the Environment
If it is considered that disclosure of the information could lead to environmental damage.
Reg 13 Personal data
As with Freedom of Information, any request that involves the release of personal data may be rejected on the grounds of the Data Protection Act 1998
The Information Commissioner has provided a Guide to the Environmental Information Regulations and this can be found by clicking on the following link http://www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/environmental_information/guide.aspx