Friday, November 07, 2008

CLG ordered to improve handling of FoI requests

ICO press release
7 Nov 2008
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is advising the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) that it must improve its handling of requests made under the Freedom of Information Act in order to conform to the expected standards of good practice.

A formal practice recommendation has been issued by the ICO in response to the Department's failure to respond to internal reviews in accordance with the Commissioner's published guidance. Public authorities must respond to requests for internal reviews within 20 working days, or 40 days in exceptional circumstances.

The ICO carried out an audit of complaints concerning the Department's practices and identified a significant backlog of internal reviews. Some of the reviews requested remained outstanding over 400 working days later. A number of the delays continued after the ICO had drawn the Department's attention to ICO guidance specifically relating to this matter.
ICO press release
DCLG practice recommendation
FoI Good Practice Guidance No. 5 - time limits on carrying out internal reviews

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