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Departmental Freedom of Information

Health written question – answered on 12th November 2009.

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Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Shadow Minister (Justice)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff in his Department were employed on the management of freedom of information requests submitted to his Department in each year since 2005; and how much his Department spent on the management of such requests in each such year.

Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Minister of State (the East Midlands), Regional Affairs, Minister of State (the East Midlands), Department of Health

Information on numbers of staff is shown in the table, and is based on for those staff for whom management of freedom of information requests comprises more than 50 per cent. of their substantive role:

Financial year Number of staff
2005-06 9
2006-07 8
2007-08 7
2008-09 (1)6
2009-10 (2)10
(1)( )8 from June 2008.

(2 )11 from October 2009.

The information requested on expenditure could be provided only at disproportionate cost. An assessment of the cost of freedom of information within Government can be found in Frontier Economics 2006 report "Independent Review of the Freedom of Information Act". A copy of this report has already been placed in the Library.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes4 people think so

No6 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.


Richard Taylor
Posted on 18 Nov 2009 3:06 am (Report this annotation)

A freedom of information request made via elucidated more information than this parliamentary question did. While neither the FOI request or the question in parliament obtained the full cost of the Department of Health's FOI compliance; the response via WhatDoTheyKnow did give the cost of employing freedom of information officers. The response via WhatDoTheyKnow also resulted in the information being supplied in more detail.

Freedom of Information Officers employed by Department of Health (figures as at 1 April for each financial year):

Financial Year 2006-2007 8.20 staff at a cost of £234,450
Financial Year 2007-2008 7.20 staff at a cost of £220,027
Financial Year 2008-2009 (until June 08) 6.40 staff at a cost of £219,953
Financial Year 2008-2009 (from June 2008) 8.40 staff at a cost of £306,291
Financial Year 2009-2010 10 staff at a cost of £345,189


Richard Taylor