Tuesday, April 22, 2008

FOI statistics Oct-Dec 2007

The quarterly monitoring statistics on FOI implementation within central government have been published for the period October to December 2007.
Number of requests
Departments of State reported receiving a total of 4,078 information requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the associated Environmental Information Regulations during the quarter from 1 October to 31 December 2007 (Q4). Other monitored bodies reported having received 3,726 requests. Across all monitored bodies, therefore, a total of 7,804 requests were reported.

This overall total for Q4 of 2007 is 2 per cent fewer than in the corresponding quarter last year (i.e. Q4 of 2006). The number of requests received by Departments of State fell by 10 per cent compared to the same period last year, while the total received by other monitored bodies increased by 7 per cent. Departments of State accounted for 52 per cent of all requests received by monitored bodies in Q4 of 2007.

Timeliness of response to requests
The FoI Act requires public bodies to respond to written requests for information within 20 working days of receipt (with limited exceptions, for example to allow additional time for the consideration of public interest). Across all monitored bodies, 83 per cent of requests received during Q4 of 2007 were sent a response within this standard deadline. Ninety per cent of requests received during Q4 were “in time”, in that they either received a response within the standard deadline or were subject to a permitted deadline extension. Both of these measures are slightly lower than in the previous quarter and in the equivalent quarter last year.
Download the Q4 2007 stats here.

Initial outcomes of requests
Of the “resolvable” requests received during Q4, 60 per cent were granted in full, 12 per cent were withheld in part, and 20 per cent were withheld in full at the time of monitoring. The remaining 8 per cent had not yet received a substantive response.

The proportion of “resolvable” requests granted in full in Q4, 60 per cent, was higher than in the previous quarter (58 per cent). The proportion of requests in Q4 that were fully withheld, 20 per cent, was slightly lower than in the previous quarter.
Download the Quarterly statistics: October to December 2007 (pdf)

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