Latest figures on Commissioner backlog

MP Norman Baker asked for the latest figures on the Information Commissioner’s backlog. It is now running at 1,373 cases. Of the 1,196 cases closed, only 59 resulted in an order of disclosure. The Commissioner ruled much more often against the complainant with 696 refusals. Many of the cases are being resolved informally (417), which means the vast majority of people are none the wiser about what has been refused or disclosed. And some of these ‘resolved’ cases are only closed because the Commissioner has taken so long to investigate the case (sometimes more than a year) that the public authority has already disclosed the contested material.

Written Answers – Appeals to the Information Commissioner
Norman Baker (Lewes, LDem): To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many appeals have been received by the Information Commissioner in each month since the coming into force of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and in each month how many have (a) been determined and allowed in whole, (b) been determined and allowed in part, (c) been determined and refused and (d) not yet been determined.
Harriet Harman: The answer to this question is set out in the two following tables: (1) Number of cases received per month and number of cases yet to be determined per month; (2) Number and status of cases closed by month of receipt and information on cases which have been closed by informal resolution.

Please click on here to view the tables in their correct format.

Table 1: Number of cases received per month and number of cases yet to be determined per month
Cases received per month Cases yet to be determined per month
January 19 1
February 134 26
March 212 56
April 290 105
May 252 113
June 203 114
July 273 164
August 243 184
September 232 177
October 191 147
November 185 121
December 152 66
January 2006 183 99
Total 2,569 1,373

Table 2: Number and status of cases closed by month of receipt

Allowed in whole Allowed in part Refused Informally resolved Total
January 3 – 11 4 18
February 3 2 80 23 108
March 8 8 79 61 156
April 15 6 81 83 185
May 13 4 59 63 139
June 4 2 50 33 89
July 5 – 74 30 109
August 3 – 36 20 59
September 4 1 33 17 55
October – – 32 12 44
November 1 – 43 20 64
December – – 58 28 86
January 2006 – 1 60 23 84
Total 59 24 696 417 1,196

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