Posts Tagged ‘FOIA Centre News’

Article: Commissioner gets a grilling

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Analysis – What’s up with the information commissioner?
FOIA Centre News, 22 March 2006

As pending FOIA complaints reach 1,500, Heather Brooke explains how the regulator needs to sharpen up its act

MPs subjected the information commissioner, Richard Thomas, to tough questioning at a parliamentary select committee hearing. The constitutional affairs committee is reviewing how he has regulated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) during its first year of full implementation.

And it was unimpressed with his reasoning that the mounting backlog at his office was due to the “complexity and lack of tidiness” of cases received. He said that the office has around 1,500 complaints yet to be resolved, some 700 of which he described as a “backlog”.

Thomas also claimed that he had received more cases than expected. However, MPs recalled that when he gave evidence in 2004 he predicted a caseload of between 2,000 and 3,000, which accurately predicted his actual caseload of 2,385 for 2005.

The chairman of the committee, Alan Beith, Liberal Democrat MP for Berwick-upon-Tweed, said: “You’re obviously a lot better at predicting then you are at preparing for the situation you predict.”