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Freedom of Information (FOI) requests taking too long

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has today released a statement outlining how several public authorities have failed to meet the requirement to reduce the amount of time they take to response to FOI requests.

33 authorities, including the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Defence, were monitored by the ICO in this respect; and of the 33 authorities, the ICO is in discussion with several of them about improvements that still need to be made.

The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the London Borough of Islington, Wolverhampton City Council and Westminster City Council have all been asked to sign formal undertakings to improve performance.

Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:

“I am delighted that over two thirds of the authorities whose performance we have been monitoring have managed to overcome their problems. However, the remaining authorities have not done enough to convince us that they have a clear and credible plan for getting back on track. Over the next four weeks, we shall be discussing appropriate next steps with them.”
 
“Responding promptly to FOI requests is key to delivering citizens’ rights. Too many public authorities are taking too long to decide either way whether to release information or to refuse requests.”

To read the statement in full, go to http://www.ico.gov.uk/~/media/documents/pressreleases/2011/foi_monitoring_news_release_20110412.ashx now.