Thursday, April 23, 2009

FOI statistics Oct-Dec 2008

The quarterly statistics bulletin on the handling of requests by central government bodies in the period October to December 2008 has been published.
Executive summary

Departments of State reported receiving 4,818 “non-routine” information requests during the fourth quarter of 2008 (Q4). Other monitored bodies received 3,946 requests. Across all monitored bodies, a total of 8,764 requests were received, of which 90 per cent had been processed at the time of monitoring. This includes 144 requests handled under the amended Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs) which came into force on 1 January 2005. [see Table 1]

The 8,764 requests across all monitored bodies received in the fourth quarter of 2008 is 12 per cent greater than the 7,804 received during the corresponding quarter of 2007. [see Table A]

During Q4 of 2008, 87 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 figure is slightly lower than in the previous quarter and in the corresponding quarter of 2007. [see Table 2 and Table B]

Of all “resolvable” requests received during Q4 of 2008 (i.e. requests where it was possible to make a substantive decision on whether to release the information being sought), 57 per cent were granted in full, the same percentage as in the previous quarter. [see Table 3 and Table C]
According to the figures, the Ministry of Justice answered only 51% of requests within the 20 working day deadline. It did, however, only extend the deadline to consider the public interest test on 6 occasions (out of 670 resolvable requests), which may be a response to the Practice Recommendation issued by the ICO in March 2008 which found that NOMS (part of the MoJ) appeared to be extending the time for considering the public interest test as a matter of course.

Quarterly statistics: October to December 2008 (Pdf 0.49 mb 40 pages)

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