Welsh Government Criticised For Freedom Of Information Failures

When it comes to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, it appears the Welsh government hasn't been keeping the public up to speed.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has given them a stern talking to for not responding swiftly enough to FoI enquiries. The Welsh government wasn't alone, either, with five local authorities coming under fire for sluggishness.

These included Kent, Cornwall, Nottingham City and North Somerset councils.

The Welsh government responded that it was going to work on the issue, and deploy more resources to deal with requests. It has also signed an undertaking to ensure staff are properly trained to meet the stipulations of the Freedom of Information Act.

FoI requests should be responded to inside twenty working days, or four weeks.

V3.co.uk noted that Commissioner Christopher Graham stated: "Responding promptly to freedom of information requests is important for maintaining public confidence and achieving greater transparency."

In total, Graham examined 18 local authorities in terms of their timeliness in dealing with requests, so two-thirds passed muster. The Ministry of Defence and the Cabinet Office were praised for improving their FoI performance, after previously coming in for flak from the Commissioner.

Well over 100,000 FoI requests are made in the UK each year, almost two-thirds of those delivered by curious members of the general public.