Monday, July 17, 2006

Information Commissioner's Office annual report

The ICO have published their annual report and accounts 2005-2006.

Some edited highlights from Richard Thomas' forward:

-The limited extra funding we secured from the Department for Constitutional Affairs for 2006-07 is not as much as we believe we need, but it is helping us to reduce the number of outstanding cases more quickly.

-Mirroring our effective regulatory approach in data protection, we will take a more robust approach toward the small number of public authorities that repeatedly fail to meet acceptable timescales. There are particular problems where time is taken to consider public interest considerations or carry out an internal review. A maximum of two months for each stage should be quite long enough in most cases. Where my office finds systemic non-compliance with the Act, I will be more ready to use my powers to serve Enforcement Notices and Practice Recommendations to ensure public authorities fulfil their obligations. We will be tougher with authorities who unnecessarily delay people’s requests.

The report also sets out the current position on the ICO workload and case handling, data on the number of FOI requests received by the ICO as a public authority itself (232) and the number of visits to the ICO website over time. The ICO also plans to introduce a disclosure log this coming year. It also outlines some of the operational changes made to the case reception of FOI complaints.

Some of the core data:

FOI Case work:
Received 2713
Closed 1666
Work in progress 1290

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