Thursday, April 06, 2006

Freedom of Information Statistics

Freedom of Information statistics for October to December 2005 are now available from the DCA covering all Central Depts and other centrally monitored bodies.

Executive summary
-Departments of State reported receiving just under 4,000 "non-routine" information requests during the fourth quarter of 2005 (Q4). Other monitored bodies received around 3,750 requests. Across all monitored bodies, over 7,700 requests were received, of which 90 per cent had been processed at the time of monitoring.

-The Q4 total of 7,700 requests across all monitored bodies compares to previous quarterly totals of 13,600 during the first quarter of 2005 (Q1), 8,400 during Q2 and 8,100 during Q3 (Note 8). These figures suggest that there was a marked initial peak in request volumes during the first quarter of the FoI Act's implementation.

-During Q4, 89 per cent of all monitored bodies' requests (excluding those "on hold" or lapsed) were "in time", in that they were processed within the statutory deadline or were subject to a permitted deadline extension. This represents an increase on the equivalent figures from Q1 (83 per cent) and Q2 (88 per cent), but a very small decrease from Q3 (90 per cent).

-Of all "resolvable" requests received during Q4 (i.e. requests where it was possible to make a substantive decision on whether to release the information being sought), 67 per cent were granted in full, the same as during Q3. Of the remaining Q4 requests, 10 per cent of the total were withheld in part, 16 per cent were withheld in full, and the remaining 7 per cent had not yet received a substantive response.

-Across all four quarters combined, monitored bodies had a cumulative total of 1,267 requests referred for Internal Review on the grounds that information was withheld. Of the 1,057 Internal Reviews with a known outcome at the time of monitoring, 77 per cent resulted in the request's initial handling being upheld in full.

Download the full report [PDF 332kb, 36pages]

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