Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Report on readiness for FOI by Henley Management centre

Source: Government computing

A report on the public sector's readiness for the Freedom of Information Act suggests many organisations will struggle to cope with its demands

Only a minority of public sector organisations will be ready to cope with the demands of the Freedom of Information Act when it takes effect at the beginning of 2005, according to new research.

Freedom of Information, Prepared to meet the challenge? was compiled by the Henley Centre and commissioned by BT. It states there are various shortcomings in the way public authorities are preparing for the introduction of the Act.

The report highlights three areas of the research providing cause for concern:
-Although nearly all organisations acknowledge the importance of the Act, only 54% claim to know a "great deal" or "quite a lot" about it. This suggests that 46% are currently under-prepared.
-Over half admit they do not know the extent of public demand, and those who have a view believe it will not be particularly heavy.
-Most intend to deal with the pressure by focusing on human resources, processes and procedures, but have not properly addressed the need for ITC support.

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