New mySociety Report on Freedom of Information in Local Government

(Andreas Pavlou) #1

A thorough report by mySociety on FOI in local government:

https://research.mysociety.org/sites/local-gov-foi/

Freedom
of information is a significant legal instrument in the UK - but currently very little is currently understood about how councils cope with this sometimes significant workload. While central government Freedom of Information (FOI) statistics are well covered by the Cabinet Office series, there is no equivalent picture for local government. The goal of this research was to construct a more detailed picture of FOI at
the local level, to understand how many requests were being sent, how much internal visibility exists over the status of requests, and calculate the contribution of requests made through WhatDoTheyKnow to the total number of requests made overall.

This
research is based on two sets of FOI Requests made to local authorities
and an anonymous survey of FOI officers. The report aims to provide a clear illustration of the current scale and operational approach to FOI in local government. The key conclusions are: