Freedom Of Information (FOI) responses

By on 12/04/2011 in FOI/Data, News

In response to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) news release ‘Government departments facing regulatory action for transparency delays’ today.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said:

“We logged 1,173 requests for information during 2010 and 391 in the first quarter of 2011, and as of 5 April this year the council has 15 requests that have exceeded the statutory deadline of 20 working days.

“So, we do recognise that where requests are overdue they need to be dealt with and the council has a clear commitment to ensuring compliance. But a review of the last five months shows that an average of 83% of requests for information was responded to within the statutory period.

“Responding to FOI requests does come with considerable time and cost implications and we estimate that it cost the city council nearly £800,000 to respond to 1,072 requests in 2009.

“So, there is some proportion and perspective to be considered with the ICO's announcement today, particularly when the city council is operating in the context of needing to save £212m whilst still continuing to provide 900 different services to the residents of Birmingham.

“Finally and somewhat ironically, half of the relatively small number (15) of complex outstanding, overdue requests relate to funding and the impact of those spending cuts on arts, voluntary and community organisations within the city.”

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