How to make a Freedom of Information Request

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.


Due to the current coronavirus situation, it is likely that there will be delays in our usual response times for FOI/EIR requests.  We will try to contact you if it is likely that your response will take longer than our usual deadlines.  Although this may not be possible in all cases. Thank you for your understanding.

Before making a freedom of information request you may find the information you need by:

If your request is for personal information you will need to make a Subject Access request under the Data Protection Act 2018.  Full details about how to do this can be found on the Data Protection page.

What you need to know about FOI/EIR requests

  • All freedom of information requests must be in writing. You cannot make a request by telephone or by speaking to someone face to face.
  • You can request environmental information under the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) verbally.  We do encourage written requests to make sure that we have as much detail as possible.
  • Responses are provided under the Open Government License (OGL). They are available for you to re-use as you wish. Where any exceptions to this apply, we will let you know when we respond. 

What to include in your request

When making a request you must provide us with the following information:

  • your name
  • a contact address (this can be an email address)
  • a detailed description of the information you need. Please be specific and only request the information you need. Not the full documents.
  • the way in which you would like to receive the information. If you would like it put onto a computer disk or would prefer to come in and view the material. You may need the information provided in Braille.

What happens next

Once you have submitted your FOI request you should receive the information you have requested within 20 working days. If we need more time we will contact you and explain why.

Most requests are free but you may have to pay for photocopying, CDs or for postage. We will contact you within 5 working days if there are charges. You will then have the option to withdraw your request. We may have to refuse to process very expensive requests. If this is the case we will assist you to reduce the scope of your request to a more practical level.

Request has been turned down

We may not be able to release certain information due to data protection issues. Or where the information is sensitive or confidential. Where this is the case we set out the reasons for withholding the information. 

Your right to appeal

Our aim is to be as open as possible with the information we provide. Should you feel that this has not been the case, you have a full and formal appeal process at your disposal.

In the first instance, we will carry out a full review of your request by way of an internal review as set out under the Act. You must ask for this within 40 days of receiving your response. Please contact foi@cornwall.gov.uk.

If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office at:

FOI/EIR Case Reception
The Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire SK9 5AF

Web: www.ico.gov.uk

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