Environmental information regulations

The Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR) requires all public authorities to provide information on how our work may impact on the environment.

We must do this by:

  • Proactively publishing information.
  • Providing the information we hold to members of the public on request.

All the environmental information we hold is subject to these regulations. Other types of information may be available under our publication scheme, Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) or the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the EIR.

The Act describes environmental information as:

(a) the state of the elements of the environment, such as air and atmosphere, water, soil, land, landscape and natural sites including wetlands, coastal and marine areas, biological diversity and its components, including genetically modified organisms, and the interaction among these elements;

(b) factors, such as substances, energy, noise, radiation or waste, including radioactive waste, emissions, discharges and other releases into the environment, affecting or likely to affect the elements of the environment referred to (a).

(c) measures (including administrative measures), such as policies, legislation, plans, programmes, environmental agreements, and activities affecting or likely to affect the elements and factors referred to in (a) and (b) as well as measures or activities designed to protect those elements;

(d) reports on the implementation of environmental legislation;

(e) cost-benefit and other economic analyses and assumptions used within the framework of the measures and activities referred to in (c);

(f) the state of human health and safety, including the contamination of the food chain, where relevant, conditions of human life, cultural sites and built structures inasmuch as they are or may be affected by the state of the elements of the environment referred to in (a) or, through those elements, by any of the matters referred to in (b) and (c);

 

How to access information

Our policy is to be transparent and release as much information as possible. However, if you can’t find the environmental information you are interested in on our website or through our publication scheme, you can request it under EIR. Requests under the EIR may be made writing eg letter, email or fax or verbally eg over the telephone.

You should include the following with both types of request:

  • Your name and physical or electronic addresses for correspondence.
  • A clear statement of the information you are requesting.
  • The format in which you wish to receive the information.
  • A contact telephone is also useful in case we need to discuss your request.

Please send your written requests to: Email: hullccg.foi@nhs.net Or NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, Wilberforce Court, Alfred Gelder Street, Hull, HU1 1UY

Alternatively you can call the Freedom of Information Team on 01482 672171.

 

What can be requested

You may request any environmental information held by or on behalf of the CCG and recorded in any form. This information includes official documents, drafts, emails, notes, recordings of telephone conversations and CCTV recordings.

The EIR requires us to only provide recorded information that we already hold. If we do not have the information in a physical or electronic form we are not required to create it.

The CCG does not need to know why you are making the request or what you plan to do with the information.

Environmental Information about our activities held by another organisation, for instance a building contractor, will also be included within the ERI. However, the organisation which holds the information on our behalf may not be subject to the EIR and as such may not respond to requests under the act. Where this is the case we will do our best to provide the information for you.

We know how important it is to openly share our information but very occasionally we may restrict the release of information to a specific individual or group. If this is the case we will tell you. If you have requested the information under the EIR and are unhappy with this restriction we must provide it to you without restriction or, where an exception applies we may refuse the request.

You should be aware that that any information we provide may be subject to copyright protection. See information below.

 

Who can request information

Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live.

 

What Information is excluded

Everyone has the right to access information about our activities that may or do affect the environment. We must provide this information unless there is a good reason not to. This is called “a presumption in favour of disclosure”.

Where you are asking for information we routinely give out (such as leaflets or contact details) we may send you the information and not treat your request as a formal EIR.

We are allowed to refuse to give you the information you requested for the following reasons:

  • If we do not already hold the information we are not obliged to create it. This includes opinions or points of view. If we think it may be held by another public authority we will tell you. We will normally suggest that you redirect you request to them.
  • If the data you are requesting would breach the DPA we will not provide it.
  • Certain categories of information, for example unfinished documents may be excluded from the EIR.
  • If disclosing the information would cause harm, for instance it would adversely affect internal relations or intellectual property rights.

In most cases, if you request this type of data and we hold it, we must consider if it is in the public interest to disclose it. If this “public interest test” finds that there is a benefit to the public to disclose the information we must provide it.

If your request is refused, we will tell you which exemption is being applied.

 

The cost of submitting an EIR request

We are committed to providing as much information as we can.

If you are asking for a lot of material, it may be more than we can manage without it specifically impacting on our other work. If it would be “manifestly unreasonable” to provide information for an EIR request we do we not have to provide it. If this is the case, we will tell you.

In some circumstance we may ask for a fee to be paid, for instance to cover the cost of a large amount of printing. We do not have to provide this information until the fee has been paid.

 

Format in which the information may be disclosed

Most of the information the CCG holds is stored in electronic form and will be disclosed to you in PDF (portable document format). If you need the information supplied in a different format, and it is reasonable to release the information in that way, the CCG will do it’s best to meet your request

 

How to word a request

It will help us to provide the information you need if you:

  • Clearly explain what you want to find out. If this is unclear we may need to seek further clarification which may delay our response.
  • Are specific: if you want a piece of information please say so in your request.
  • Say whether the information you want relates to a specific timescale.
  • Ask specific questions such as “What” or “How much” as this will help us to give you the information you want.
  • Keep your request for information separate to any complaints or comments. You can see how to make a complaint or comment here.
  • Avoid using open ended questions such as “Why”. If we do not already have a recorded judgement we are not required to create one.

Please remember, EIR requires us to only provide information that we already hold.

 

How we process a request

Where you are asking for information we routinely give out (such as leaflets or contact details) we may send you the information and not treat your request as a formal EIR.

We have 20 days to respond to a request, unless specific exceptions apply. Our aim is to be helpful and answer your request as completely and quickly as we can.

On receipt of a valid request for information we must:

  • Inform you in writing whether we hold the information requested.
  • Provide the information to you where we have it and it is not excluded from the act.

If it is not clear what information you are requesting, we may contact you. We will do this by telephone, email or letter depending on the contact details you provided. The 20 working day deadline will only start when it is clear to us what you require.

We log all requests, including those made verbally.

 

The right to complain

If you are unhappy with our response to your request, you have the right to complain. If you are unhappy with the results of the CCGs internal review you may appeal to the Information Commissioner.

When we reply to your request we will give you more details about the complaint process.

 

Privacy and Fair Processing

We must process personal data fairly and lawfully. Click here to read more about how we meet this obligation.

 

Copyright

The information we provide to you is copyrighted to NHS Hull CCG and provided to you free of charge for your personal use or for other specific uses permitted in the Copyright, Designs and Patients Act 1988. If however you wish to use the information we have provided for any commercial purposes including the sale of the information to a third party then, under the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, you must ask us for permission to do so in respect of each specific piece of such information. If we do grant such permission this may involve a licensing arrangement which may attract a fee. Should you wish to apply for permission for commercial re-use under the Regulations you should write to the Freedom of Information Manager at: hullccg.foi@nhs.net

 

Feedback and complaints

If you would like to provide feedback – good or bad – please contact the Freedom of Information Manager at: hullccg.foi@nhs.net

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