Thursday, February 24, 2005

Councils measure up to FOI

From and of the comprehensive "FOIA audits" carried out so far:

"Three quarters of UK local authorities provided a full response to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request in a new survey, indicating that most councils have fully prepared for the new act. Only three percent in IDOX’s survey could not respond to the request for information (RFI) – two percent applied exemptions and one percent did not hold any information

For its survey, ‘One month on – UK Local Authority responses to an FOI request’, IDOX sent a letter to 438 authorities in England, Scotland and Wales on 1 January 2005, when the new FOI Acts came into force. The letter was designed to test each Idox website authority’s response to an FOI request and asked each council for details of its plans to manage requests and whether it had a software package to manage them, and whether it was considering implementation of other related technologies"

One month after the legislation was introduced, the councils which performed best by meeting all survey criteria for FOI requests were:

- Cornwall County Council

- Corporation of London

- Dartford Borough Council

- London Borough of Lambeth

- London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham

- Nottinghamshire Country Council

- Thurrock Borough Council

Over half (52%) of councils acknowledge the link between records management (and EDRMS - Electronic Document and Records Management Systems) and FOI request tracking. Those councils surveyed that wish to implement EDRMS technology plan to do so in the next 12-18 months. Respondents indicated that considerable work will be undertaken with regards to policy and procedure development before technology is applied.

No comments: