It is not possible to identify precisely the number of officials who deal with freedom of information issues, since it is potentially part of every civil servant's role to respond to Freedom of Information requests. However, one of the primary support functions of Information Management staff is to deal with these requests, plus requests made under the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. The number of Information Management staff who help to process requests within each Department is cited in the following table.
|Department||Information Management (including FOI) staff|
|Northern Ireland Office||2.5|
|Department of Environment||6|
|Department for Regional Development||5|
|Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure||(40)8.5|
|Department of Education||4|
|Department for Social Development||3|
|Department for Employment and Learning||4|
|Department of Finance and Personnel||4|
|Department of Agriculture and Rural Development||6|
|Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment||2|
|Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety||4|
|Office of the First and Deputy First Minister||(41)5|
(40)This figure includes 5.5 people processing requests in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.
(41) This figure includes 2 people from the central FOI team.