EIR 12(4)(b)

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EIR 12(4)(b) exception - manifestly unreasonable

* The word “manifestly” means that a request should be obviously or clearly unreasonable. There should be no doubt as to whether the request was unreasonable. Volume and complexity alone may not be sufficient to make a request manifestly unreasonable. The fact that a request would be considered vexatious or repeated under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the “FOIA”) does not, in itself, make a request made under the EIR manifestly unreasonable.
  • There are no cost limits for responses to requests for environmental information; it may therefore be possible for some exceptionally costly requests to be considered manifestly unreasonable.

(c) Information Commissioner's Office

(Source: ICO guidance).
  • See main article: vexatious requests - the ICO recommends reading their Awareness Guidance 22 document.
  • Defra suggest that the £450 / £600 limit should be used as a guideline, and that advice & assistance be given to the requester to amend or refine their request so that it comes within the appropriate limit. [1]


What the law says

Regulation 12.

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (1)(a), a public authority may refuse to disclose information to the extent that—
(b) the request for information is manifestly unreasonable;


Official guidance

ICO Lines To Take

Relevant Lines to Take
  • LTT192 - Rejecting procedural exemptions / exceptions - 18/01/2011
  • LTT182 - Vexatious requests under EIR - 13/09/2010
  • LTT174 - Calculating costs where request(s) span several access regimes (DPA/FOIA/EIR) - 04/09/2010
  • LTT175 - Flowchart for LTT174 - 04/09/2010
  • LTT147 - "Manifestly unreasonable" in relation to the cost of complying with a request - 03/09/2009
  • LTT128 - Wider impact of disclosure on the conduct of good government - 29/10/2008
  • LTT107 - No prejudice / adverse effect test for class based exemptions / exceptions - 20/06/2008



ICO Decision Notices

Complaints upheld / partly upheld (P) Complaints not upheld
  • FS50163282 - Queen’s University Belfast - 29/03/2010
  • FS50200310 - West Sussex County Council - 15/02/2010
  • FER0193385 - Fareham Borough Council - 07/01/2010
  • FER0178071 - Brighton and Hove City Council - 24/09/2009
  • FS50176016 - Forestry Commission Scotland - 30/03/2009
  • FS50176942(P) - Forestry Commission Scotland - 30/03/2009
  • FS50187763(P) - Forestry Commission Scotland - 30/03/2009
  • FS50128567 - Department of Health - 30/03/2010
  • FS50193661 - Department for Culture, Media and Sport - 29/03/2010
  • FS50143525 - Department for Culture, Media and Sport - 02/03/2010
  • FS50202965 - Exeter City Council - 01/03/2010
  • FS50203056 - Wiltshire County Council - 22/02/2010
  • FER0204414 - Welsh Assembly Government - 11/02/2010
  • FER0196026 - Bath and North East Somerset Council - 26/01/2010
  • FER0212346 - Surrey County Council - 25/01/2010
  • FER0124796 - Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs - 21/12/2009
  • FS50232537 - Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council - 10/11/2009
  • FER0237548 and FER0239845 - New Forest National Park Authority - 16/09/2009
  • FS50190964 - Weymouth and Portland Borough Council - 13/08/2009
  • FER0230659 - Environment Agency - 17/02/2009
  • FS50154310 - Bridgnorth District Council - 02/09/2008

Includes DNs up to: 26 April 2010




Environmental Information Regulations 2004
Exceptions
12(3) 12(4)(a) 12(4)(b) 12(4)(c) 12(4)(d) 12(4)(e) 12(5)(a) 12(5)(b) 12(5)(c) 12(5)(d) 12(5)(e) 12(5)(f) 12(5)(g)