Met Police and Home Office put on special measures for breaking rules

One for the bureaucratic irony files this. The Information Commissioner has announced that 33 public sector bodies have so regularly broken the rules on responding to Freedom of Information requests that they have been put in special measures.

The 33 bodies are all being required to fully document how they handle future requests and report monthly to the Information Commissioner on how they are doing are complying with the rules. Their record will be reviewed in three months time.

Home Office frontage. Photo credit: charmingman on FlickrAnd who is included in the list?

The Met Police. You know, the people whose job it is to stop other people breaking rules.

The Home Office. You know, the ministry that until a few months ago spent so much of its time telling us what to do.

And the Cabinet Office – which won’t come as a surprise to regular readers.

The full list is over on the Press Gazette and here is the official press release.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • Ian Sanderson 5th Oct '10 - 9:36am

    Apart from lack of deployed resources, I suppose there are really two reasons for tardiness. That you have qualms about revealing the information and that you can’t dig it up. It is worrying if the body concerned can’t dig it up – it suggests management weaknesses. It reminds me of the occasion shortly after the GLA was established, when an AM said that one of their surprises on taking over the Met Police was to find out how little the Met knew about where its money was going.

  • Ian Sanderson 5th Oct '10 - 9:42am

    Of the 33 bodies listed, 9 are either London Councils or GLA responsibilities. Is this because people in the South-East put in more requests, or because these bodies are worse at answering them – or both?

  • Andrew Suffield 5th Oct '10 - 8:37pm

    Apart from lack of deployed resources, I suppose there are really two reasons for tardiness. That you have qualms about revealing the information and that you can’t dig it up

    I once requested some figures from the DWP for a private research project. After a bit over a month of delays, I got back the 10 or so numbers that I asked for – which can’t have taken more than half an hour to fish out and copy – and three pages of arguments for why these numbers represented “acceptable performance”, which I didn’t have the slightest interest in.

    So add “idiotic time wasting” to that list.

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