Information Commissioner

Constitutional Affairs written question – answered on 12th December 2005.

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Photo of Peter Law Peter Law Independent, Blaenau Gwent

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the adequacy of resources made available to the Information Commissioner to carry out his responsibilities; and what discussions she has had with the Information Commissioner on ways to speed up the processing of Freedom of Information Act appeals made to his office.

Photo of Harriet Harman Harriet Harman Minister of State (Department of Constitutional Affairs), Member, Labour Party National Executive Committee

The Secretary of State is in regular dialogue with the Information Commissioner about his responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act. The Information Commissioner has analysed his current workload and concluded that the high volume of appeals that he is processing at present are a result of the initial influx of requests that public authorities experienced in the first few months of FOI implementation.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes3 people think so

No1 person thinks not

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Ken Brookman
Posted on 14 Dec 2005 11:00 am (Report this annotation)

My mind boggles at the intellect of My MP with such questions. Llew Smith must have passed this question on again as there are some big words in it for Pete.The freedom of information act is fine except it doesn't always provide information requested about ones MP for example. Still trying to find out about the holiday home occupancy in Cardiff and other uses of the property.

Martin Stabe
Posted on 14 Dec 2005 1:50 pm (Report this annotation)

Actually, it's a very good question: There is a real concern that the Information Commissioner is developing an enormous backlog of requests and may be under-resourced for its task of enforcing the Act. In September, the Times reported that the backlog of unresolved FOIA appeals is more than 1,200, that the Information Commissioner's caseload is increasing by five appeals per day, and that just 50 cases had been resolved in the first nine months of 2005. Then in October, the Press Gazette quoted an offical from the Information Commissioner's Office saying that "complaints were 25 per cent higher than had been anticipated" and that the caseload was growing by 50 appeals per week.

In this context, I'm more concerned about the minister's reather complacent reply.,,2-1804622,00.html