Appealing to the Commissioner - Frequently Asked Questions

Can I appeal to the Commissioner?

You can appeal to the Commissioner if:

How do I make an appeal?

We recommend that you use our application form. You don't have to use this method, but if you do it will help to make sure you provide all of the information that the Commissioner needs to investigate your case quickly.

If you don't use the form, your appeal must be in a format that can be kept for future use, for example, by email or post or in an audio or video recording.

The Commissioner will investigate your appeal if it is "valid". The questions below outline what information you need to include to ensure your appeal is valid. Alternatively, download our detailed guidance on making a valid appeal.

The top 5 reasons why appeals are invalid are:

  • The person making the appeal did not ask the authority to review its response first.
  • The appeal does not make clear what request it relates to or why the person is unhappy.
  • The person did not allow the authority enough time to respond.
  • The person waited too long before asking for a review or before making an appeal.
  • The request for a review did not make clear why the person was unhappy.

What should I say in my appeal?

You must include the following information:

  • Your real full name (first name and surname, in the main text of your appeal)
  • An address for correspondence (the Commissioner will also need your postal address to issue a Decision Notice)
  • Details of your original request
  • Why you are unhappy with the way it was dealt with by the public authority
  • Why you are unhappy with the outcome of the review.

Should I send any other information?

You should include copies of the correspondence you have had with the public authority about your request. Most importantly, copies of:

  • Your original request for information
  • The response you received (if the authority replied)
  • Your request for a review
  • The response to your request for a review (if the authority replied).

You must appeal to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving the review decision from the authority. If the authority did not carry out a review or failed to tell you the outcome of the review, you should appeal within 6 months of the date by which it should have replied to you (20 working days after you asked it to review its decision).

How much does it cost to make an appeal?

There is no charge for making an appeal to the Commissioner.

Are there any issues that you can't investigate?

Yes, there are a few limitations. See more information about when we can't investigate.

What happens after I make an appeal to the Commissioner?

We acknowledge receipt of your appeal within two working days. We will send you a copy of our guidance for applicants. You can download the guidance below.

What Happens Next? - A guide for applicants (PDF)

Your Right to Know - BSL Version

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