Friday, May 27, 2011

Kenneth Clarke data protection speech

Ministry of Justice
26 May 2011
Europe is in danger of making the wrong choices on new data protection rules, Secretary of State for Justice Kenneth Clarke said.

Speaking at the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, Mr Clarke reiterated the UK Government's commitment to restoring civil liberties, citing the Government's achievements in scrapping ID cards, and working to end the misuse of anti-terrorism stop and search powers.

He stressed that collecting data in the interests of national security must not come at the expense of UK citizens' basic freedoms, particularly the right not to have their personal data treated carelessly or even fall into the wrong hands.

The Justice Secretary also warned, however, that collecting data sensibly and sharing it safely across borders is a crucial part of efforts to tackle international crime and protect our security, and is entirely consistent with ensuring strong standards of data protection.

The EU is currently reviewing its data protection rules and Mr Clarke's speech made clear the Government's belief that it must be up to all Member States to decide the details of when to use and share data to keep their citizens safe – particularly in detecting crime and preventing terrorism. He also warned Member States of the dangers of unnecessarily prescriptive rules in this area.

Kenneth Clarke said: 'Imposing an inflexible, detailed data protection regime on the whole of the EU, regardless of the peculiarities of different cultures and legal systems, carries with it serious risks.

But he added: 'I am optimistic that there's a common sense solution on this. Our experience in the UK is that security, freedom and privacy are possible.'

While in Brussels, the Justice Secretary also met UK Members of the European Parliament and discussed data protection issues.
The speech is available to download in full here.
See also comment by Chris Pounder on the Amberhawk blog.

Campaign for Freedom of Information responds to comments on science and FOI

Letter
The Guardian, Friday 27 May 2011
The president of the Royal Society calls for changes to freedom of information laws to prevent them being misused (Data laws 'misused' in climate change row, 26 May). However, existing safeguards address many of his concerns. Deliberate attempts to "intimidate" scientists, if that is what they are, can be refused under the Freedom of Information Act's safeguards against vexatious requests. Unreasonable requests for all pre-publication drafts of scientific papers can be refused under an exemption for information due for future publication. Explanations of why changes to successive drafts were made do not have to be provided unless they exist in writing. Multiple related requests from different people, if they are co-ordinated, can be refused if the combined cost of answering exceeds the act's cost limit.

Another academic is quoted as saying many FoI requests are made in order to find problems and errors – but that is a valid use of the act. It was the misguided attempt to deny ammunition to critics that led to the Climategate fiasco. The resulting independent review found there had been an "ethos of minimal compliance (and at times non-compliance) … with both the letter and the spirit" of the legislation, and that the campaign of requests to the UEA climatic research unit was partly the result of its own "unhelpful" response to earlier requests. It is not clear that much has changed.

Maurice Frankel
Director, Campaign for Freedom of Information
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/27/scientists-freedom-information-law-safeguards

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

FOI Disclosure Stories May 2011

Internal report reveals fear of sudden ruinous rise in oil prices – The Times 24/05/11 (subscription only)
A sudden huge increase in oil prices would cut more than £102 billion from the economy over the next five years, wrecking Britain’s economic recovery, increasing unemployment and provoking industrial action, according to a Department for Energy and Climate Change report obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

Empty homes to be demolished ‘hidden from figures’ – BBC 23/05/11
Around 12,000 empty homes are hidden from official figures because they are earmarked for demolition, according to The Empty Homes Agency, which discovered the numbers using a freedom of information request.

Welsh schools’ GCSE performances revealed – BBC Wales 23/05/11
The Welsh Government places schools in "families" - groups of about 10 - where pupils have similar levels of family income and special needs. In one case a school's results are 42% better than another in the same family. The details were obtained by BBC Wales under the Freedom of Information Act.

Sharp drop in risk assessments into financial firms – The Guardian 22/05/11
The number of risk assessments into financial firms has fallen dramatically since the banking crisis in 2008. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the FSA revealed 936 risk assessments took place in 2002, with 616 in 2004 and 427 in 2006. The number then stabilised around 300 until 2008 when it fell to just over 200.

Radiotherapy centre was regarded as one of the five ‘highest priority projects’
– The Londonderry Sentinel 13/05/11
Documents obtained through FOI show that the move towards halting plans to proceed with a badly-needed radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin Hospital came just hours after it was described as one of the Department of Health’s highest priorities. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety released various drafts of the controversial statement made by then Health Minister Michael McGimpsey on the last day of the Assembly.

NDCS map shows local authorities failing to protect deaf children’s services – National
Deaf Children’s Society 10/05/11
Figures released by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) reveal that almost one in five local authorities across England have cut education services for vulnerable deaf children, despite the education budget being protected by the Government. NDCS had to issue 45 Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to obtain the data.

Extent of sexual offences by police being concealed by resignations – The Times 10/05/11 (subscription only)
More than 300 police officers have been disciplined for sexual offences in the past five years, The Times can reveal. Almost a hundred faced sexual assault charges, and 231 misconduct hearings for sexual misconduct, with about a third of the officers dismissed or required to resign. All 52 police forces responded to a freedom of information request for data about sexual wrongdoing by officers, with the exception of Warwickshire.

Birmingham children’s care homes and the £41million scandal – Birmingham Mail 09/05/11
The cost of placing troubled children from Birmingham in private care has rocketed after council chiefs closed four kids’ homes in the city. The information was released to the Birmingham Mail under Freedom of Information laws. The revelation that children from the city are being sent to centres up to 470 miles away in Scotland, as well as East Sussex and County Durham, has been described as a “scandal”.

Hundreds of police sacked in secret hearings
– The Times 09/05/11
Police forces are sacking 160 officers every year after misconduct hearings held behind closed doors, an investigation by The Times has discovered. The Times made freedom of information requests to all 52 local forces across Britain. The results uncovered a disciplinary lottery, with officers being fired in one area for offences that might attract only a fine in another.

Councils accused of blocking renewable energy roll out - Renewable Energy Installer 05/05/11
Government plans to support the roll out of a renewable energy network are being hampered by confusion and a shocking level of inconsistency at the local level, a new survey has found. Despite government legislation to scrap the need for planning permission, many councils are still insisting homeowners seek their consent before installing solar panels according to FOI requests submitted by Renewable Energy Installer magazine.

1 in 4 not in council pension – GMB Union 03/05/11
One in four council workers have already opted out of local government pension schemes showing proposed contribution increases to local government pension schemes from 3.2% to 9.6% would be a disaster, and could jeopardise the entire Local Government Pension Scheme for its four million members says GMB. GMB established that data on participation rates in the current Local Government pension scheme using the Freedom of Information Act.

Alok Sharma MP: How Council Tax payers have funded £35 million of Trade Union salaries over the past three years – Conservative Home 28/04/11
In order to find out just how widespread the practice of funding full-time union officials with tax payers’ money was, FOI requests were sent to 429 councils across the country. Out of the 319 councils that responded, 132 had a paid full-time union official in at least one of the last 3 years. The total salary bill over the three year period for full-time union reps was £35 million.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ICO consults on new Information Rights Strategy

The ICO is consulting on a new Information Rights Strategy, which will replace the former separate data protection and freedom of information strategies. It is being introduced in light of the ICO's commitment to integrate its data protection and freedom of information activities wherever possible.

The draft Information Rights Strategy is available here.

The consultation is open until 12 August 2011.

ICO specialist guidance published

The ICO have published their internal freedom of information and environmental information knowledge base on their website. The specialist guidance includes the ICO's lines to take documents, which "capture the Commissioner's position in relation to issues that have arisen in casework or as a result of Tribunal decisions". The LTT documents had previously been released via WhatDoTheyKnow in response to an FOI request by Alex Skene, who made them available in a more accessible manner on the FOI wiki which he hosts. The ICO has decided to make these routinely available together with several legal background papers and other policy resources, which were previously only accessible on the ICO intranet site.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Committee stage debate of Protection of Freedoms Bill FOI clauses

The House of Commons' Committee considering the Protection of Freedoms Bill last week reached the clauses of the Bill relating to datasets, Freedom of Information and the independence of the Information Commissioner.

Clause 92 of the Bill amends section 11 (Means by which communication to be made) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, by providing, amongst other things, that where an FOI request is made for a dataset to be provided in electronic form:
  • it must, so far as reasonably practicable, be supplied in a reusable format; and
  • if the public authority is the copyright holder, no copyright restrictions may be imposed on its reuse other than those set out in a 'specified licence'. 
However, the Campaign for Freedom of Information has highlighted a number of concerns with the definition of the term 'dataset' which underpins the measures. It has pointed out that new subsection 5(c) of the definition currently provides that a dataset ceases to be a dataset if any change is made to the way in which the information in it is presented. On the face of it this means that even a modest change in presentation, such as the merging of two columns of data into one, or the separation of one column into two, would mean that the information ceased to be a dataset. This would lead to the new dataset provisions being circumvented by relatively modest changes to the way in which the dataset is presented.

This issue was raised by Tom Brake MP (Lib Dem, Carshalton) and Vernon Coaker MP (Lab, Gedling) during the debate. In response, the minister, Lynne Featherstone, promised to look again at the drafting of the clause:
Lynne Featherstone: Both the hon. Member for Gedling and my hon. Friend the Member for Carshalton and Wallington asked whether the definition of datasets excludes basic organisation of the information in a dataset, such as sorting alphabetically or merging two documents. We accept that the information in many datasets may have undergone some reorganisation or change in presentation; I am talking about the minor amendments that my hon. Friend was concerned might lead to a wrong use of subsection (5)(c). The objective and intent for a change is that it is not significant or substantive, such that it still constitutes the factual source data or raw data, un-manipulated in form. The policy is that such datasets are still covered by the definition. Such minor alterations, which are not significant or substantive but involve just a reorganisation or change in how the information is presented, are still covered by the definition of “dataset”, which is a subset of “information” under freedom of information legislation...Organised and adapted in such a context means that the information must have been materially organised or materially adapted for the information not to constitute a dataset.
Vernon Coaker: In all honesty, the Minister needs to look at how the clause is drafted. It does not say that. I am not making a point of difference or a point of principle, nor am I angry about the matter and think that it is a disgrace. I agree with the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington. If the hon. Lady reads subsection (5)(b) and (c)—
Lynne Featherstone: I did.
Vernon Coaker: I know that the hon. Lady has just read out subsection (5)(c). Such provisions are a lawyer’s paradise. In calmer times, she must just check whether the clause needs to be looked at again or materially altered. I am not a lawyer, so we will no doubt have a row about the meaning of “materially”. She might want to reflect on such matters and change them.
Lynne Featherstone: I hear what the hon. Gentleman is saying about the concerns that the drafting of the clause does not match its intention. I am happy to have a look at it. My understanding is that the clause does say what I intend it to say, but I take such the advice in the spirit in which it was offered and will have a second look at it. I definitely would not wish to give the lawyers a feast.
Clause 92 also amends section 19 of the FOI Act, requiring authorities to publish any requested dataset as part of their 'publication schemes' and keep it up to date, unless the authority is satisfied that this is not appropriate. The Campaign for Freedom of Information has pointed out that this involves a subjective test and would be difficult for the Information Commissioner to oversee. The minister has also now promised to look again this:
Vernon Coaker: I will be accused of being a pointy-head for other reasons in a minute, but clause 92(4)(a) states that a publication scheme must, in particular, include a requirement for the public authority concerned to publish,
“unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate for the dataset to be published”.
To use the words “is not appropriate” makes the provision incredibly wide. The hon. Lady might say that she totally disagrees with what I have said, and that the provision is not widely drawn at all. I think that it is. It is a drafting point; it is not a point of principle. When the words “is not appropriate” are included, people will argue about their meaning. It is a get-out for people. If an authority does not wish to publish, it can say, “It is not appropriate for us to publish”.
Lynne Featherstone: I hear what the hon. Gentleman is saying, but I imagine that it is an interpretation in law. He is right in that there is an opportunity, if that is how he is framing this, in the words,
“unless the authority is satisfied that it is not appropriate for the dataset to be published”.
Clearly, that is not meant to be a get-out clause for authorities not to publish. The presumption and the message going out is that everything that can be published, should be published, but I will take that away and have a look at it.
The minister also responded to views expressed during oral evidence to the Committee, that if the Information Commissioner is to be limited to single term of office, it should be for longer than the 5 years proposed in the Bill. Government amendments to increase the term to 7 years were passed by the Committee.
With amendments 150 and 151, the Government want to increase the length of the single period of office from five to seven years. Both the Information Commissioner and the Campaign for Freedom of Information have welcomed the move to a single term of office...In oral evidence to the Committee, the Campaign for Freedom of Information suggested that a five-year term might be too short to allow the commissioner to be fully effective and could limit the field of applicants for the role. We have looked again at that point in the light of the concerns that were raised...Lengthening the term that the Information Commissioner serves to seven years is an appropriate response to the concerns expressed to the Committee, balanced against the points made by the Public Administration Committee and the Tiner review. Additionally, a seven-year term is consistent with similar appointments such as the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, who is also appointed for a single, non-renewable term of up to seven years.
But the minister confirmed that the Government were not considering extending the provisions on datasets to the Environmental Information Regulations as well as the Freedom of Information Act:
The Government consider that the environmental information regulations implement Council directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information. No changes to the regulations are currently being considered. The environmental information regulations already require environmental information datasets to be proactively disseminated to the public, so there was no need for us to cover the same ground. 
A number of wider points aimed at strengthening the FOI Act were raised by Tom Brake MP. The minister responded that many of these fell outside the remit of the Bill, but that the parliamentary committee may want to consider them when it undertakes post-legislative scrutiny of the FOI Act later this year.

The Hansard of the debate is available here. You can watch the debate here.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

School becomes second authority asked to sign undertaking to improve FOI compliance

ICO press release
12 May 2011
Aberdare Girls’ School has signed a commitment to improve its freedom of information practices following concerns over the school’s handling of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said today.
The ICO contacted the school in October 2009 after receiving a complaint about the school’s refusal to disclose information. The information in question related to the legal costs and advice sought over the exclusion of a former pupil who refused to remove a religious bangle. During the ICO’s enquiries the school repeatedly failed to provide timely responses to the Commissioner’s questions. This led to the ICO issuing the school with an Information Notice requiring them to disclose information necessary to the investigation.
The ICO issued a decision notice ordering the school to provide the information to the requester on the 20 December 2010. The ICO has also now served the school with an undertaking to ensure that it continues to demonstrate a commitment to openness and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Assistant Commissioner for Wales, Anne Jones, said:

“This case should serve as a warning to all public authorities that are failing to fulfil their obligations under the Freedom of Information Act.

Where justified, we will use the powers available to us to ensure authorities are open and accountable.

I am pleased that Aberdare Girls’ School has signed a commitment to improve its handling of information requests.”

P Scott, Chairman of Aberdare Girls’ School has now signed a formal undertaking to ensure that staff receive adequate training on the requirements of the FOI Act. The school will also provide the Commissioner with timely responses to any future enquiries related to the school’s handling of information requests made under the FOI Act or the Environmental Information Regulations.

A full copy of the undertaking can be viewed here:

http://www.ico.gov.uk/what_we_cover/promoting_openness/taking_action.aspx#Undertakings

ENDS

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FCO review on release of colonial records says files were a 'sort of guilty secret'

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has published the findings of a review into why a collection of 8,800 colonial records from the former British territories had not been placed in the public domain. The review, into why the records were not treated in accordance with the Public Records Act 1958, was undertaken by the former British High Commissioner to Canada, Mr Anthony Cary. The existence of the files (known as the 'migrated archives') in the FCO archives only emerged as a result of the High Court case brought by four Mau Mau veterans over alleged human rights abuses by British colonial officials in Kenya in the 1950s. The High Court is set to rule on their claim shortly.

The review states:
As a consequence of confusion over ownership, the Kenyan migrated archive was left in limbo: neither accepted by the TNA [The National Archives] for the public record, or formally acknowledged by the FCO. Unless it catalogued the files and conducted a full sensitivity review, the FCO could neither release the files (whether to successor Governments or to private repositories) nor consult them in any systematic way for the purposes of FoI and other search requests, nor even apply for a Lord Chancellor's instrument to authorise retention of them. But no such review was conducted. In part, this was because of resource constraints: the Department has struggled to keep up with the annual statutory requirement to select, review and redact files for acceptance by the National Archives [TNA], and in recent years it has also faced an unrelenting flow of FoI requests. But in part it also reflected a failure by successive senior managers to grip what should have been seen to be an unresolved and potentially explosive problem. 
On the question of why the Kenya files were not identified or searched at the time FOI requests were received by the FCO in 2005 and 2006, the report states:
Lack of process documentation and misunderstanding about the importance and searchability of the archives explain the failure only up to a point. I think it is fair to say that these misapprehensions were only half believed, at least by the more thoughtful and knowledgeable staff. It was perhaps convenient to accept the assurances of predecessors that the migrated archives were administrative and/or ephemeral, and did not need to be consulted for the purposes of FoI requests, while also being conscious of the files as a sort of guilty secret, of uncertain status and in the 'too difficult' tray.
The review recommends that the FCO conducts a full inventory of the information it holds. In a written ministerial statement, the Foreign Secretary said:
I believe that it is the right thing to do for the information in these files now to be properly examined and recorded and made available to the public through the National Archives. This will be taken forward rapidly. Given the size of the archive the process may take some time to complete in full. It will be overseen by a senior and independent figure I shall appoint...It is my intention to release every part of every paper of interest subject only to legal exemptions.
See also:
Mau Mau torture files were 'guilty secret' - The Independent
Court approves release of documents in Mau Mau trial - Leigh Day & Co.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Training on using the Freedom of Information Act - additional date added

The 'Using the FOI Act' course being held by the Campaign for Freedom of Information on 16 June 2011 is now full. However, if there is sufficient interest, we will run the course again on Wednesday 22 June. Please contact the Campaign by email or telephone 020 7831 7477 if you are interested in attending on this date.

The media and FOI - report of roundtable discussion held in Scotland

The report of a roundtable discussion on FOI and the media hosted by the Scottish Information Commissioner and Holyrood Magazine has been published.
Holyrood magazine and the Scottish Information Commissioner recently hosted a roundtable event where professionals from the media, local government, tade unions and the legal sector discussed how the legislation has worked out since it was implemented in January 2005 and how it impacts different perspectives.

The Commissioner, Kevin Dunion, was joined by a number of journalists, lawyers, FoI staff and campaigners to debate the relationship between the legislation and the media.

The meeting was held just a month after the previous Scottish Government said it was not appropriate to extend FoI laws to organisations such as contractors who build and maintain hospitals, housing associations and private prisons.

A series of other proposals have been mooted, however, and it is expected that changes will be made to the legislation.

In Scotland the role of FoI has come under the spotlight again in recent weeks. The SNP announced that it has now shelved plans to replace the council tax with a local income tax in the next Parliament. But the SNP Government came under fire after it emerged Alex Salmond has twice gone to the Court of Session to prevent the disclosure of a memo detailing the financial implications of local income tax becoming public.

The Government is contesting a decision by Dunion, who believes the tax plans are in the public interest and should be released, on the grounds that the memo constitutes "advice to ministers" which is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

Full report here.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

FOI Disclosure Stories April 19th-May 4th

£7 million spent on Birmingham Prison ahead of controversial takeover – Birmingham Mail 03/05/11
Taxpayers have shelled out more than £7 million during the past five years on improvements at Birmingham Prison – even though it will be taken over in less than six months by a private security firm. A Freedom of Information request revealed more than £2 million had been spent during the first three months of this year alone.

£310k of City Council schemes are waved through – The Sentinel 03/05/11
Council officers applied to have more than £1.5 million worth of contracts approved without going through a tendering process designed to secure best value for money. They applied for exemption certificates for 12 projects which meant they did not have to go through a protracted procedure. Information, obtained by The Sentinel under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that six of these projects went ahead costing £30, 915.

Care Quality Commission visits drop by 70% - Community Care 03/05/11
Adult care providers have seen a "frightening and unacceptable" 70% drop in inspections by the Care Quality Commission in the past year, prompting fears for the welfare of service users. The sharp fall, revealed in a Freedom of Information request by Community Care, follows the introduction of the CQC's new registration system for providers last October, and comes despite the regulator saying that it expected there to be more inspections under the new regime.

Top Kent schools get millions in funding meant for deprived inner city pupils – Your Thanet 30/04/11
More than £4.5 million a year of Government funding is being "unfairly" pumped into selected schools to spend as they wish through a project abolished five years ago. And despite the grants being designed specifically to help schools in deprived urban areas, many of those in Kent receiving the no-strings-attached cash are in affluent areas or are grammar schools according to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

GPs challenge PCT rationing plans - GP 28/04/11
PCT restrictions on access to NHS treatment has led to a huge rise in GPs having to submit requests for patients to access care, GP has found. The number of such requests rose by 17 per cent from 2008/9 (53,000) to 2010/11 (62,000), according to responses from 103 PCTs to our request under the Freedom of Information Act. Over the same period, the proportion of requests approved fell by 22 per cent.

Trusts insist on local GPs in out-of-hours overhaul – Pulse 28/04/11
GP out-of-hours care is being radically reshaped across England, with PCTs working with consortia to implement 'local doctor only' policies or merging services with the Government’s new 111 urgent care number.75 PCTs are following the lead of NHS East of England according to responses under the Freedom of Information Act.

Syrian officers received training in Britain – The Guardian 27/04/11
The British government has defended its training programme for foreign military leaders after it emerged that it had educated several Syrian officers at Ministry of Defence colleges. The data was released following a freedom of information request by the Guardian.

Britain for Sale – Property Week 21/04/11
A never-before-seen list of government property that is on the market, including a derelict hospital on London's Hampstead Road, a Yorkshire golf club and a grade II-listed office building in Cheltenham, was obtained from by the Government Property Unit through a Freedom of Information Act request. See a map of all the properties here.

Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq - The Independent 19/04/11
Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show. Over 1,000 documents were obtained under Freedom of Information over five years by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt.

Closures of youth prisons triggered cases of unrest – Children & Young People Now 19/04/11
The closure of young offender institutions (YOIs) has created serious safeguarding issues within the secure estate, CYP Now has learned. A YJB document dating back to last September, released to CYP Now under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that "recent decommissioning of estate appears to have been a relevant factor in two recent significant incidents".


GPs set for greater powers to combat acute trust overspends – Pulse 18/04/11
The Department of Health is poised to add more levers into acute trust contracts to give GPs greater negotiating powers with hospitals, says a senior Department of Health official. It comes as information obtained by Pulse under the Freedom of Information Act revealed the extent of acute overspending that GP commissioners will have to tackle.

Emails expose BP’s attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill – The Guardian 15/04/11
BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged. Documents obtained under the US Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Annual central government FOI statistics 2010

The Ministry of Justice has published the 2010 annual statistics on the implementation and operation of the FOI Act in central government.

The report shows:
  • central government bodies received 43,921 "non routine" information requests in 2010, 8% more than in 2009. 
  • Departments of State received 27,410 of these requests, an increase of 16% compared to 2009. Other monitored bodies received 16,511 requests, 2% less than in 2009.
  • the Ministry of Justice received the largest number of requests (3,174), followed by the Department of Work and Pensions (3,145) Home Office (3,069), Ministry of Defence (2,956), Department for Transport (2,864), Treasury (2,064) and Department of Health (2,023).
  • 86% of all requests were answered within the standard 20 working day deadline, compared to 82% in 2009. Departments of State answered 83% of requests within 20 working days, compared to 91% for other monitored bodies.
  • 57% of all "resolvable" requests were granted in full, 15% were withheld in part and 25% withheld in full. 
Ranked in order of their performance in meeting the 20 working day deadline (with no. of requests received in brackets), the list of departments is as follows:

  • Department of Health 99% (2,023)
  • HM Treasury 95% (2,062)
  • Attorney General's Office 93% (127)
  • Department for Transport 89% (2,887)
  • Communities and Local Government 89% (929)
  • Northern Ireland Office 89% (214)
  • DEFRA 87% (551)
  • Wales Office 87% (119)
  • Department of Work and Pensions 87% (3,145)
  • Department for International Development 86% (402)
  • Scotland Office 86% (139)
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport 85% (607)
  • Export Credit Guarantee Department 85% (65)
  • Department of Energy and Climate Change 85% (576)
  • Ministry of Justice 84% (3,174)
  • Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 83% (1,034)
  • Government Equalities Office 80% (106)
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office 79% (1,184)
  • Home Office 77% (3,069)
  • Department for Education (76% (880)
  • Cabinet Office 72% (1,081)
  • Ministry of Defence 60% (2,916)

The report is available as a pdf here. The statistics can be downloaded in Excel or CSV format here.