You might also want to consider the following exceptions:
- regulation 12(4)(d) if the information is in draft form or is otherwise unfinished or incomplete;
- regulation 12(5)(b) if the information includes legal advice from in-house lawyers;
- regulation 12(5)(d) if disclosure would adversely affect the confidentiality of formal proceedings of a public authority;
- regulation 12(5)(e) if the information is commercial and confidential and disclosure would harm the legitimate economic interests of the public authority.
This guidance relates only to the EIR. If the information is not environmental information, the EIR are not relevant. Instead, you need to consider exemptions under FOIA.
The most relevant FOIA exemptions for internal communications are:
- section 35: formulation and development of government policy; or
- section 36: prejudice to effective conduct of government affairs.
For internal legal advice, consider section 42, legal professional privilege.
For further information about who is subject to the EIR, and request handling under the two different pieces of legislation, see:
You may also want to refer to the following guidance:
- Regulation 12(4)(d) material in the course of completion
- Regulation 12(5)(b) adverse effect on the course of justice
- Regulation 12(5)(d) confidentiality of proceedings
- Regulation 12(5)(e) confidentiality of commercial or industrial information
- Section 35 FOIA government policy
- Section 36 FOIA effective conduct of public affairs
- The public interest test
- The public interest test and the EIR
- Internal consultation resource - Keeping internal consultations on FOI requests timely and transparent