How FOI operates in BGS

How the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 and the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998 work together within the BGS

Any request for information held by the BGS is technically a Freedom of Information request in the first instance. Section 39 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 then exempts environmental information held by the BGS from being dealt with under FOI and provides it should be dealt with under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Requests for personal information, where the applicant is the subject of the information, are dealt with under the Data Protection Act 1998, which can be obtained via the HMSO.

In effect, the three pieces of legislation work together, the Environmental Information Regulations enabling access to scientific/environmental information held by the BGS, the Data Protection Act 1998 enabling access to personal information of which the applicant is the subject, and the Freedom of Information Act enabling access to all other BGS information (such as on its structure and organisation).


This procedure is explained further in this flowchart.