We review the decisions made by public authorities on AIE requests.

In most cases, the decision that we review is the public authority's internal review decision, that is the public authority's second decision on a request. If the public authority has failed to give notice of its internal review decision within the time allowed, the public authority is deemed by the law to have made a second decision "affirming" its first decision. In such cases, it is this "second decision" which we review, although it might be for all intents and purposes the same as the first decision.

The Commissioner makes decisions on each appeal unless the case is withdrawn, settled or discontinued. His decisions are published and are legally binding, although they may be appealed to the High Court on points of law.

What we do not do

  • We have no role in assisting or advising members of the public, companies or public authorities in making or processing requests for access to environmental information.
  • We have no role in assessing how public authorities collect, maintain and disseminate environmental information.
  • Even when the Commissioner decides that refusal of a request was not justified, we do not release the information. If the Commissioner decides that it would be appropriate for a public authority to release information, he will state in his decision that he requires it to do so. But OCEI does not release the information.
  • We do not offer legal advice.