The ICO exists to empower you through information.

What do I do if I am unhappy with the response to my request?

If you are unhappy with your response, you need to complain directly to the public authority.

Public authorities must consider complaints about Environmental Information Regulation requests. They should consider complaints about Freedom of Information requests. You should receive a response to your complaint within 40 working days.

Public authorities must include information about how to complain in their response to your request. The complaints process will be called an ‘internal review’.

You can use our email or letter template to help raise your complaint with the public authority.

[Address for correspondence]



Dear Sir/Madam

Ref No: [if applicable]

Thank you for your response to my information request, sent on [date], copy attached. 

I am dissatisfied with the handling of my request for the following reason(s):

[explain why you are unhappy with the result of your request. For example:

  • I disagree with the outcome of the public interest test because….
  • I don’t believe the cost of providing the information would exceed the cost limit because…

  • You have not provided me with enough support to refine my request.

  • I disagree that the exemption applies because…

  • I disagree with the outcome of the public interest test because….]

I would be grateful if you would carry out an internal review of the handling of my request and consider changing your position.

I look forward to receiving your response within the next 20 working days, as outlined in the Information Commissioner’s guidance:

“The Information Commissioner’s Office recommends that public authorities carry out internal reviews within 20 working days. Under Environmental Information Regulations there is a legal requirement that internal reviews must be carried out as soon as possible and within 40 working days.”

Yours faithfully


If you are still unhappy once the public authority has looked at your complaint and conducted an internal review, you can complain to the ICO.