Revealed: departments which delay
The government departments with the worst record of excessive delays in their dealings with the Information Commissioner are the Foreign Office and the Department for Constitutional Affairs, I can reveal.
This is according to a list of cases maintained by the Commissioner's office to monitor instances where departments have been particularly slow in dealing with the ICO.
The Commissioner Richard Thomas disclosed that his staff had been compiling such a list when he referred to his concerns over departmental foot-dragging at the FOI Live conference in May. I put in an FOI request to the ICO for a copy of this list and am publishing it today.
The list features 25 examples of excessive delays. The two departments which crop up most frequently are the Foreign Office and the DCA, each with five cases.
The document shows how in several cases the ICO has to keep pestering the departments involved with chasing letters while the departments miss deadlines, seek repeated extensions, provide partial responses or fail to respond altogether.
It records that in one case 'FCO have so far taken 12 months to not even answer a request from BBC reporter' - that's me.