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How to make a complaint if you do not obtain the requested information

If a Catalan public administration or public enterprise fails to attend to an information request satisfactorily the interested party may complain, free of charge, to the GAIP. This is the independent body which handles complaints about the right of access to information held by Catalan public administrations and enterprises.

A discretionary appeal for reversal may also be lodged before the competent administrative body, in which case the resolution of same must be received before a complaint to the GAIP can be made.

  • When the requested contents have not been received, or are incomplete, within the period of 30 days, despite the application having been accepted.
  • When the requested information has been fully or partially denied.
  • When you are a third party affected by the information that a Catalan public administration has improperly passed on to the person who requested it.

Within a period of one month from the day following that on which the information was fully or partially denied.

Also from the end of the one month period, when the 30 days the Administration has to deliver the information have elapsed once the request has been accepted. If the Administration has not responded and thus the request has been accepted for reasons of positive silence, the period of 30 days for the Administration to deliver the contents begins when the applicant presents a new document requesting effective delivery of the information. 

The complaint may be presented via the Internet (with a digital identification certificate or using the idCAT SMS) or in person, filling in the form and presenting it in any public registry office or sending it by recorded delivery post.

When making the complaint, the applicant must present a copy of the application for access to the information and, if the Administration has replied, a copy of any document received.

If the complaint is made via the Internet, the annex containing the specific data must be attached.

If the person making the complaint so desires, he or she can also request prior mediation in the complaint form addressed to the GAIP. The aim of this procedure is to reach an agreement, supervised by the GAIP, between the Administration and the interested party as regards the date, format and content of the information to be provided. The mediation process lasts a month, and if no agreement can be achieved the GAIP will continue processing the complaint and resolve on the substance of the matter. 

The complaint must be resolved within two months. GAIP resolutions are binding on the public administrations, which means they are obliged to fulfil what is established in the ruling.

If no resolution has been issued within two months the application must be deemed rejected by the mechanism of ‘negative administrative silence’.

If the resolution from the GAIP continues to be unsatisfactory, the interested party has a third option, which is to take the decision to court by lodging an appeal for judicial review before the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. 

Update:  25.02.2016