Another year, another backlog

A huge backlog of requests under the Freedom of Information Act has built up in the Whitehall department with overall responsibility for the legislation.

Between January and September last year, the Ministry of Justice received 1,798 requests under the legislation. It admitted to The Times that it had responded to only 1,200 on time.
In spite of intervention by the information watchdog in March, the department is still unable to deal with hundreds of applications. Many e-mails and telephone calls about the progress of applications have gone unanswered by the ministry.

Nick Herbert, the Shadow Justice Secretary, said: “If the department sponsoring freedom of information, run by the minister who introduced the legislation, won’t answer requests, what does that say about the Government’s commitment to open government?”

Backlog in Freedom of Information requests grows (Times Online, 12 January 2009)