MoD and Met police exposed over FoI failures

More than 30 public bodies including the Home Office, Ministry of Defence and the Metropolitan Police, have been named on a list of organisations that appear to be flouting Freedom of Information rules.

The Information Commissioner’s Office said the organisations were taking too long to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests and would now be monitored for three months.

ICO deputy commissioner Graham Smith said: “This is a perfect opportunity for the authorities named to get their houses in order and demonstrate that they take freedom of information requests seriously.

“In the five years since the Freedom of Information Act was brought into force, a significant number of the complaints we receive are about organisations that take too long to respond to information requests.

“We will monitor the authorities named today for three months, but may take action during this timeframe if an authority’s standard of compliance is revealed to be particularly poor, or if it is unwilling to make the improvements necessary.”

The list was compiled taking into account data which showed that more than 15 per cent of requests were not receiving a response wit the timescales specified by the law.

Each of the 33 organisations on the list will now be asked to keep a record of everything they do in relation to FoI requests and provide monthly updates to the ICO.

Here is the full list of public authorities singled out by the ICO:

  • Babergh District Council
  • Birmingham City Council
  • British Transport Police
  • Bromsgrove District Council
  • Cabinet Office
  • Calderdale Council
  • Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
  • Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Government Equalities Office
  • Gravesham Borough Council
  • Great Yarmouth Borough Council
  • Home Office
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Legal Services Commission
  • London Borough of Barnet (Council)
  • London Borough of Croydon (Council)
  • London Borough of Ealing (Council)
  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (Council
  • London Borough of Islington (Council)
  • London Borough of Newham (Council)
  • Medway Council
  • Metropolitan Police Service
  • Ministry of Defence
  • North West Strategic Health Authority
  • Northern Ireland Office
  • Rural Payments Agency
  • Surrey Heath Borough Council
  • The Scotland Office
  • Transport for London
  • Westminster City Council
  • Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Wolverhampton City Council

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