FoI/EIR complaints procedure

Freedom of Information / Environmental Information Complaints Procedure


Harlow Council has a complaints procedure to help customers get their needs met in a fast, courteous, fair and consistent manner. The procedure aims to reach a resolution as quickly as possible. We take complaints seriously as each one helps us learn and enables us to improve our services.

You can use our Freedom of Information / Environmental Information complaints procedure if you feel that:

a) the Council is not complying with the Publication Scheme,
b) the Council has not dealt with a request for information correctly, or if
c) you are unhappy about the outcome of a request for information.

For any other type of complaint please use the Complaints Procedure.

How to Complain

You must write to Contact Harlow within 40 working days of your receipt of the Council’s response to your request for information. Any such request received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of Harlow Council. Please see contact details below.

Stage One – Corporate Information Manager

Contact Harlow will pass your complaint on to the Corporate Information Manager for investigation. We will acknowledge your complaint within two working days – this applies to all stages of the procedure. The acknowledgement will give you a reference number, tell when you can expect a full reply and who to contact about the complaint. You should get a full response within a maximum of 10 working days.

Stage Two – Head of Service

If you are unhappy with the Corporate Information Manager’s response at Stage One you should go back to Contact Harlow to start Stage Two 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 Harlow
Civic Centre
The Water Gardens
CM20 1WG

Information Commissioner
Wycliff House
Water Lane