3 April 2009
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has begun monitoring public authorities to ensure they are complying with the model publication scheme, which came into effect on 1 January 2009, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).Full press release.
Under the Act, authorities must adopt a publication scheme so that people can easily identify the types of information that will be routinely disclosed. The model scheme also reduces administration for public authorities and helps transparency. From today the ICO will check websites to ensure that the scheme is being adhered to.
Assistant Information Commissioner, Gerrard Tracey said: “The vast majority of public authorities take their freedom of information responsibilities seriously and this new approach will support those who do. Unfortunately some do not, and in cases of systemic non-compliance we will use the powers available to us, which include enforcement action, to insist on adherence to the requirements of the Act.”
The ICO will initially contact authorities to highlight areas of non-compliance and work with them to seek an informal resolution. The ICO takes a responsible approach to enforcement action and this will be considered after serious or repeated non-compliance, failure to adopt a publication scheme or to make information available in accordance with it.