Information Commissioner Christopher Graham
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham

Three public authorities will be monitored by the Information Commissioner after failing to respond to FOI requests in time. 

 The Cabinet Office, the Crown Prosecution Service and Hackney Council will be watched by the regulator after a high number of complaints were made about their slow responses to requests for information.

Following poor performance in responding to requests between 1 January and 31 March 2014 the authorities will be monitored for the next three months. 

Meanwhile the Met Police, and Home Office will face a further three months of monitoring after failing to improve during a previous monitoring period.

The Cabinet Office were previously monitored for poor performance three years ago.

The Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, said:

“Responding to FOI requests within the statutory time limit of 20 working days is basic to delivering transparent and open government. While extensions may sometimes be justifiable for particularly complex requests, these three authorities have been selected for monitoring after serious shortcomings were identified in the time each of them has been taking to respond to FOI requests.

“It is particularly disappointing to see that the Cabinet Office has failed to maintain the improvements recorded three years ago when the authority was also monitored over the timeliness of its FOI responses. On that occasion, the Cabinet Office signed an undertaking to raise their game. Their inclusion on the latest monitoring list should act as a warning to others that lessons learnt from monitoring have to be sustained.”

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.