Four new public authorities are due to be monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for their slow responses to FOI requests.

The ICO announced that the Department of Finance and Personnel, in Northern Ireland, Cumbria County Council, Nottingham City Council and Salford City Council will be monitored by the regulator.

The monitoring period will cover 1 February and 30 April 2015.

Deputy Information Commissioner and Director of Freedom of Information, Graham Smith, said:

“Public authorities must respect people’s rights of access to information. That means responding to FOI requests within the statutory timeline of 20 working days, or with a slight extension if the request is particularly complex.

“We hope these public authorities use their inclusion on the latest monitoring list as an opportunity to get their houses in order so they can provide an acceptable service to the public by handling requests more efficiently in the future. The improvements we’ve seen at Lambeth, Tower Hamlets, Warwick and Wigan councils are welcome.”

 

I am a journalist and author. I am a staff writer at the UK edition of WIRED magazine and in 2015 my book, Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. I created FOI Directory in 2012.