FOI requests - the story so far from central government

A survey carried out by the Financial Times shows that the predicted flood of FoI requests immediately after the legislation came into force has failed to materialise. This suggests that both the business sector and the public have yet to waken up to the opportunities offered by the legislation.

The MoD and its agencies have received 443 requests so far, according to the latest figures supplied by central government departments. The Cabinet Office has received 268 requests under the Freedom of Information Act, and the Department for Education and Skills 92. The Department of Health received 80 requests in the first week of this year but was unable to supply a more up to date figure. The Treasury was sent 40 requests in the first week and across central government there were there were about 900 requests in the first week according to reports from the Department for Constitutional Affairs.

One of the most common requests to central government has been for the Attorney General's advice on the legality of war in Iraq, which has attracted around 40 inquiries to date.

MoD targeted for freedom of information queries (Financial Times, 24 January 2005)