Although the intention of both FOISA and the EIRs is allow the public access to information, there are some important differences in the way in which requests should be handled under both regimes. For example, while requests for general information under FOISA must be in written or other recordable format, verbal requests for environmental information under the EIRs may be valid. Another example is that, unlike FOISA, the EIRs make provision for the transfer of a request from one authority to another. This regulation applies only if the authority does not hold the information in its own right and it is not held on its behalf by another body.
Bodies who find themselves dealing with requests for environmental information are advised to check the particular arrangements under the EIRs for handling such requests. The Commissioner's guidance on how requests should be handled under the EIRs can be viewed here:
Handling Requests for Environmental Information Briefing (pdf - 133Kb)