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Still slow at the ICO

Martin Rosenbaum | 15:26 UK time, Tuesday, 9 October 2007

If you appeal an FOI decision to the Information Commissioner, you are still going to have to wait a long time for an answer. The Information Commissioner's Office is failing to reduce its sizeable backlog of freedom of information cases.

That's clear from the records of internal ICO meetings which are published on their website. According to the latest minutes, just released, the executive team was told last month that 'over the course of the year to date 50 more cases had been added to the total number of cases held by the office ... the backlog was not being reduced despite the extra resources'.

The ICO argues that it is now closing cases more quickly, but the problem is because it is receiving new complaints at an even greater rate, leading to the net increase in the total number of cases held.

One sidelight on the delays comes from an earlier set of minutes from July, when 55 decision notices were then awaiting signature and 'the oldest ready for signing was 152 days old'.

The latest executive minutes also reveal more of the extent of the ICO's financial problems. The ICO decided it had to ask the Ministry of Justice for additional funding because of unexpected legal costs stemming from the number and complexity of Information Tribunal appeals. The executive minutes state that without additional funding 'participation in appeals would have to be reduced to a bare minimum'.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:13 PM on 02 Nov 2007,
  • Veed wrote:

There's just so much hypocrisy and subtle attempts at maintaining a shroud of secrecy! Check out this article, it explains it all http://www.newstatesman.com/200711010018

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