EIR 12(4)(c)

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EIR 12(4)(c) exception - request formulated in too general a manner

When a request has been made in general terms and it is difficult to determine what information the applicant actually wants, an authority does not have to disclose information. To claim the exception, an authority must follow the requirements of regulation 9(2). Where it receives a request which is “too general”, it must contact the applicant within 20 working days and help him or her to refine or clarify the request.

(c) Information Commissioner's Office

(Source: ICO guidance).
  • The ICO has a separate guidance document giving further details on what a public authority must do when interpreting an EIR request, and what sort of advice must be given. [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—
(c) the request for information is formulated in too general a manner and the public authority has complied with regulation 9;

Regulation 9 refers to the provision of advice and assistance

Official guidance

ICO Lines To Take

Relevant Lines to Take
  • LTT192 - Rejecting procedural exemptions / exceptions - 18/01/2011
  • LTT170 - Government Policy can be produced in many ways - 24/02/2010
  • 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



Includes DNs up to: 26 April 2010

Environmental Information Regulations 2004
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)