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Cabinet Office FOI Clearing House to be replaced

The entrance to the Cabinet Office at 70 Whitehall.
Loop Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

The review of the Cabinet Office’s FOI Clearing House carried out by Sue Langley OBE was published on 25 August 2022.

The review found that 95% of central government FOI teams wanted improvements to the system. It called for the Clearing House to be redesigned as a ‘centre of excellence’ and said the Cabinet Office’s top priority should be to address delays in dealing with FOI requests. The government has accepted the recommendations.

The review also rejected the Clearing House’s approach of circulating the names of ‘Round Robin’ requesters to all departments – 89% of government FOI teams were concerned about this. The government says it will pilot a new system “immediately”. (Round Robin requests are those where someone makes the same request to multiple departments).

It also said the number of Round Robin requests which are monitored should be “reduced to a minimum” and the system should focus on “uncommon, complex and national security related FOI cases only”.

The Campaign took part in a round table discussion as part of the review. The review was commissioned in response to a critical report from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the Clearing House, which itself was prompted by openDemocracy’s dedicated reporting on the issue.

The review can be read here.

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