The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

We are at the forefront of improving information rights practices. We deal with concerns raised about public organisations and ensure public information is published where the law says that it should be.

Our work

FOI Complaints and Appeals will:

  • manage and process casework promptly and thoroughly;
  • continually review and improve our procedures to promote the most effective processing of cases; 
  • deal with cases proportionately, prioritising the most significant cases and setting out our decisions with an appropriate level of detail;
  • work with partners to ensure that delays are minimised at every stage of the process; and
  • appropriately defend the Commissioner’s formal FOI decisions and where necessary ensure compliance with those decisions.

Roles in FOI Complaints and Appeals

The department is led by the Head of FOI Complaints and Appeals.

Group Managers

The Group Manager is responsible for one sector team, supported by a Team Manager, measuring performance across the group, setting productive targets and ensuring all services are delivered to a consistently high standard in line with the ICO’s vision and values.

The Solicitor Group Manager is a qualified legal professional who is responsible for overseeing the team of Lawyers and Paralegals who are responsible for conducting litigation on behalf of the Commissioner in the Tribunal and Courts.

The Group Managers are also responsible for ensuring that all staff in the group are clear about the standards expected and are managed effectively to develop their personal potential. 

They will also continually review all group activities, taking every available opportunity to develop and improve service delivery to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.


As qualified legal professionals our lawyers provide legal advice and services to the FOI Complaints and Appeals Department. They represent, and act on behalf of, the ICO in legal proceedings, court hearings and external meetings.

Team Managers

Supporting the Group Manager, the Team Manager will directly manage a team of staff monitoring their work flow and work allocation ensuring that all are clear about the standards expected and managed to develop their personal potential.

The may also carry a small personal caseload where cases have been escalated to Team Manager level.

Senior Case Officers

Senior Case Officers are responsible for dealing with the more complex and novel cases and will assist with the identification and management of any significant trends that emerge in casework. They support Group Managers and will be a point of expert advice for Lead Case Officers and Case Officers.

Lead Case Officers

Lead Case Officers take a leading role in the day to day handling of the ICO’s performance improvement activities. As well as carrying a personal caseload, they support Team Managers in developing a team of Case Officers to enable them to perform as effectively as possible by providing technical support to the Case Officers.

Case Officers

Case Officers are responsible for a personal caseload, ensuring that they progress work to a clear and consistent outcome in line with operational strategies, policies and procedures.

Administrative Support Assistants

Admin Support Assistants provide administrative support to staff and managers, including support for departmental projects and initiative, ensuring administrative procedures run smoothly and adhere to policies.