Latest Public Sector News

02.01.13

DfE and DWP to be ‘monitored’ by ICO over FoI responses

The Department for Education and Department for Work and Pensions, alongside two other public authorites, have been highlighted for monitoring by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) following poor timeliness when responding to FoI requests.

Northern Ireland’s Office of First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council will also be monitored for three months.

The authorities failed to respond to 85% of FoI requests within the time limit of 20 working days, and have been subject to a number of complaints.

The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said: “We will monitor the authorities named today for three months, and may take further action after this monitoring period has expired if we don’t see the necessary improvements in each authorities’ standard of compliance.

“It is particularly disappointing to see that the advances previously made by the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions, and Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council – which were introduced following concerns after previous rounds of monitoring – have not been continued.

“This is not good enough and we expect these authorities to take the necessary measures to ensure that they are meeting their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act. We will provide support and advice where we can, but reserve the right to take further action if they fail to step up to the mark.”

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