Freedom of information complaints

We expect our service to be fast, courteous, fair and consistent. If you feel this has not been the case, we’d like to know.

We take complaints seriously as they help us learn and improve our services.

You can use our freedom of information or environmental information complaints procedure if you feel that:

  • the council is not complying with the publication scheme
  •  the council has not dealt with a request for information correctly
  • you are unhappy about the outcome of a request for information

For any other type of complaint please use the standard complaints procedure

How to complain

Stage 1 – Corporate Information Manager

You need to write to Contact Harlow  within 40 working days of receiving our response to your request for information.

We will acknowledge your complaint within 2 working days.

The acknowledgement will give you a reference number, tell when you can expect a full reply and who to contact about the complaint.

Contact Harlow will pass your complaint on to the Corporate Information Manager for investigation.

You should get a full response within a maximum of 10 working days.

Stage 2 – Head of Service

If you are unhappy with the Corporate Information Manager’s response at stage 1, you need to  go back to Contact Harlow to start stage 2 of the procedure.

A Head of Service will then investigate your complaint and decide whether to uphold your complaint and offer a final resolution or not uphold your complaint and write to tell you the reasons why.

You should get a full response within a maximum of 15 working days.

Extending time limits

In certain cases, we may extend the time limit to a reasonable time period and will write to you giving reasons why the timescale has been changed.

Complain to the Information Commissioner

If we cannot resolve your complaint, you can take it up with the Information Commissioner

They would expect people contacting them to have made use of the council’s two-stage complaints procedure first, to get the issues resolved locally.

Contact information

Office
Contact Harlow
Harlow Council
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
College Square
Harlow CM20 1WG