The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that Trafford Council will be monitored over the timeliness of its responses to freedom of information (FOI) requests.

The council will join the Metropolitan Police Service in having its performance reviewed, after the regulator identified a significant number of cases not being responded to within the statutory time limit of 20 working days.

The Ministry of Justice and Department of Finance and Personnel (Northern Ireland), which had both been subject to extended periods of review, have now been taken off monitoring after sustained improvement.

The ICO will examine the timeliness of Trafford Council and the Metropolitan Police Service between 1 May and 31 July 2016. Failure to show signs of improvement during this period may result in enforcement action.

Announcing the publication of today’s monitoring list, Gerrard Tracey, Principal Policy Adviser, said: 

“The law sets limits on how quickly public authorities must respond. Trafford Council has not been meeting that requirement, and we’ll now be reviewing its performance.

“Similarly, the Metropolitan Police Service will continue to be looked at. They have implemented initiatives and measures to improve performance, but a growing volume of requests means that work hasn’t had enough of an impact on compliance with the law. We will continue to monitor them to ensure the necessary improvements are achieved.”

Further information about the ICO’s FOI monitoring exercise can be found on the ICO website.

Notes to editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
  3. The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more in the ICO blog and e-newsletterOur Press Office page provides more information for journalists.
  4. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides individuals or organisations with the right to request official information held by a public authority. The Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) provide access to environmental information.