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ICO report on central govt compliance with model publication scheme

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a report monitoring central government’s adoption and operation of the ICO model publication scheme which came into effect on 1 January 2009.

Some of the report’s key findings were:

  • less than three quarters of the authorities monitored in this sector have adopted the model publication scheme. It is of serious concern to the ICO that eight authorities are in breach of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • thirteen authorities in the sector have published details of their charging arrangements for routinely available information on their websites, however not all have policies that conform to ICO guidance.
  • the greatest area of non-compliance with the requirements of the model scheme across the central government sector, with a limited number of exceptions, is in relation to the proactive release of financial information.
  • the proactive release of information relating to contracts awarded and their value has generally been very poor. Only a very small number of authorities make information available on both.
  • very few monitored authorities make available any detailed information relating to senior staff allowances and expenses.
  • only 3 of the authorities monitored in the sector make both the minutes and their associated agendas and papers routinely available. They are the Northern Ireland Assembly, National Assembly of Wales and the Department for International Development. We note with concern that a number of authorities make neither the minutes nor the relevant papers routinely available.
  • we included the proactive release of an authority’s register of hospitality and gifts in the monitoring exercise as an indicator of their transparency and openness. Whilst we presume that organisations in the sector collate this information for their own purposes, our monitoring revealed a minority make this information proactively available.

ICO press release here
Central Government Sector Monitoring Report here.

1 thought on “ICO report on central govt compliance with model publication scheme”

  1. Hello Katherine, I was wondering if you would be willing to take a look at the “Climategate” FOI issue. It’s been extensively assumed in the media and blogosphere that the deletion of emails subject to an active FOI request necessarily would have been illegal (assuming that any deletions actually took place), but is that really the case if the emails were confidential communications subject to an absolute exemption under II.42? Thanks.

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