Laura Sharman 05 March 2015

Three councils warned over FOI delays

Three councils are being monitored by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following concerns they are too slow at responding to freedom of information (FOI) requests.

Salford City Council is being monitored for responding to less than 65% of all its FOI requests within the legal timeframe.

The ICO is also monitoring Cumbria County Council and Nottingham City Council for failing to respond to at least four cases in the allocated time.

The ICO’s deputy commissioner and director of freedom of information, Graham Smith, said: ‘Public authorities must respect people’s rights of access to information. That means responding to FOI requests within the statutory timeline of 20 working days, or with a slight extension if the request is particularly complex.

‘We hope these public authorities use their inclusion on the latest monitoring list as an opportunity to get their houses in order so they can provide an acceptable service to the public by handling requests more efficiently in the future.’

The ICO also announced that Lambeth Council, Tower Hamlets Council, Warwick District Council and Wigan Council are being removed from formal monitoring after making improvements in their performance.

However, it will continue to monitor Greenwich Council after it failed to ‘significantly’ improve its performance.

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