Making requests

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you, as an individual, a general right of access to all types of recorded information held by public authorities, including the BGS. It sets out exemptions to that right and places obligations on public authorities such as us. Under the Act, any member of the public can apply for access to information held by public sector bodies.

Under the Act, you are entitled to get information by making a request in writing to us (unless the information is exempt under the Act). You will have the right:

  • to be told by us whether we hold the information you request, and if we do:
  • to have us pass that information to you.

We will do our best to meet the time limit laid down in the Act for dealing with a request for information — that is, within 20 working days. You will have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner if you think we did not deal with your request in line with the Act.

Much of the information on our organisation and structure is freely available, but we may charge a fee for processing some Freedom of Information requests and these charges are explained in the NERC Publication Scheme.

The environmental information held by the BGS is exempt under FOI, because the Environmental Information Regulations apply instead.