Freedom of Information Act

Constitutional Affairs written question – answered on 13th February 2006.

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Photo of David Drew David Drew Labour, Stroud

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps she is taking to speed up responses to Freedom of Information Act inquiries made to Government Departments.

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

In the third quarter of 2005 Departments of State responded to Freedom of Information requests within their statutory obligations in an average of 86 per cent. of cases. This figure reflects an increase of 11 per cent. on performance in the second quarter of last year, which in itself had improved significantly on performance in the first quarter.

However, there is still work to be done and DCA continues to work with departments to improve performance. In particular each Department of State has a dedicated liaison point within DCA to address specific performance issues. The Information Rights Practitioners Conference also provides a regular forum in which officials across Whitehall can share best practice and raise any specific issues with experts both from my Department and elsewhere in Government.

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