The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published action on five public bodies, including the Environment Agency, a city council and the Ministry of Defence, for failing to deal with Freedom of Information (FOI) requests.
The legal deadline for Freedom of Informational request is 20 working days for a response - in some of these cases, the responses were years overdue.
The published action on the five public bodies ties in with the anniversary of the FOI regulatory manual created by the ICO in July 2022, which set out the initial approach to taking further enforcement action.
The practice recommendations issued by the ICO were to address poor levels of performance with response times. The volume of complaints made to the Information Commissioner was also highlighted in this guidance.
FOI requests can be made to a number of public authorities such as government departments, the NHS and publicly owned companies. Environmental information requests can be made to private or public companies with public responsibilities like water companies.
If you’d like further information on Freedom of Information requests or would like comprehensive compliance advice, please contact the business risk and regulation team.