Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Latest ICO caseload data

I had quite a bit of interest in the Information Commissioner's caseload of FOI/EIR complaints data I received via an FOI request that was posted on the blog a few weeks ago. The data was withdrawn as there were some errors in the version I was given- the ICO have now provided me with the corrected version.

Current case count is 3452.

Download the ICO suppplied version (excel)

I've also created a version - sorted by name of Public Authority (excel)

Also see my previous comments on the ICO backlog

1 comment:

Peter HOAR said...


Anybody wondering how the ICO handles their complaint should read the above Notes just supplied to me. With his response to my request for Internal Review, the ICO sent me (1st June) answers to all my questions about progress with my complaint dated August 2005 (FS50086109) and copy of the current “FOI CASE RECEPTION PROCEDURES / GUIDANCE NOTES.”

These provide unique insight into the delay/overload situation. None of this information appears to be readily available elsewhere. Precised - with “quotes” added from the letter and (comment) by me.

i) The Case Reception Team strips out the variously ineligible cases - (Including cases withdrawn, abandoned etc this is currently over 50%.)
ii) Cases for Northern Ireland and Wales are allocated to the respective regional teams, so they run on a separate timescale.
iii) The Procedural Complaints Team deals with the less complex cases, so “…the waiting time (for procedural complaints) is currently shorter.”
iv) The Exemption Team deals with the more complex cases – such as mine.
v) PRIORITISATION OF CASES. Cases considered “Urgent/Sensitive” may be given high priority. Such cases include - “Newsworthy” - “National Media Group” - “Complainant is an MP” - “MP has written on behalf of a complainant” and “Complainant has given grounds for suggesting a case is urgent.”
vi) NOTIFYING THE PA. “Currently public authorities are generally informed when a complaint against them is received. However, last August … this policy had not been put in place.” (It seems there is no intention to back notify and the changeover date was not indicated. I shall have to do it myself, in case my refused information is tempted to ‘go astray.’)
vii) OUT OF TURN CASE RESOLUTION. (My especial gripe) Of the Exemption cases received after mine - ie 13/8/2005 - I was told - “17 have been closed and 49 are currently under investigation.” … “Although complaints are normally dealt with in date order, this is not an absolute policy ….” “… Of the 66 cases mentioned above …” (ie junior to mine) “… 40 have been assigned to a new team of case workers who have been employed on short term contracts to assist in clearing a part of the backlog.” (He did not say if any or all of these ‘junior’ cases were treated as ‘Urgent/Sensitive.’)

Memo to self - Count up the exemption cases received between May and August last year, take out those resolved by published Decision Notice, factor-in X-dot, for N cases considered or claimed to be Urgent/Sensitive. If the answer is a lemon, consider what strings to pull to get on the priority list, or go back to sleep until 2008. Peter HOAR