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Decision Summary

  • Case Ref: FER0071801
  • Date: 26 July 2006
  • Public Authority: Network Rail
  • Summary: In July 2005 the complainant requested information from Network Rail under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 regarding plans for the use of a branch line but received no response. The Information Commissioner took the opportunity afforded by this and another case (FER0087031) to clarify the status of Network Rail as a public authority under both the EIR and FOIA 2000. With regard to the public administration functions and responsibilities of Network Rail, the Commissioner considers that Network Rail is a public authority under regulation 2(2)(c) of the EIR. However, the Commissioner has also reviewed the status of Network Rail under section 3 of the Act and considers that it is not a public authority for the purpose of the Act. In this case, the information requested by the complainant fell within the definition of 'environmental information' under EIR. The Information Commissioner's decision is therefore that Network Rail failed to comply with regulation 5(1) of the EIR in that it failed to make available to the complainant environmental information which it held, and that it also failed to comply with regulation 6(2) in that it did not explain to the complainant the reason for its decision not to supply the information requested. Network Rail must now respond to the complainant's request within the time limit specified in the decision notice. This decision is currently under appeal to the Information Tribunal.
  • View PDF of Decision Notice: [1]