Dear Sir or Madam,
1. Since 1.1.09 to the date of receipt of this e-mail how many public authorities publication scheme websites have you recorded as having monitored as part of your duty to check that they have an adequate publication scheme following the guidelines that came in on 1.1.09? Please name the authorities whose websites you have recorded as having checked.
2. Please give the total numbers and the names of the authorities you have contacted since 1.1.09 to tell them that you wish them to make inprovements to their publication scheme.
8th April 2009
Case Reference Number IRQ0243017
Dear Mr Davis
Request for Information
Thank you for your e-mail of 8 April 2009 in which you have asked us to
provide you with information relating to publication schemes.
Your request has been passed to the Internal Compliance Team, and is being
dealt with in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 under
the reference number shown above. We will therefore respond to your
request by 11 May 2009 which, allowing for the Good Friday, Easter Monday
and early May bank holidays, is 20 working days from the day after we
received your request.
Assistant Internal Compliance Manager
8 May 2009
Case Reference Number IRQ0243017
Dear Mr Davis
I write further to my acknowledgement email to you dated 8 April 2009 and
in response to your request for information. As you are aware, we have
treated your request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act
In your request you ask two questions, and I shall try to address each
1. Since 01/01/09 to the date of receipt of this e-mail (08/04/09) how
many public authorities publication scheme websites have you recorded as
having monitored as part of your duty to check that they have an adequate
publication scheme following the guidelines that came in on 01/01/09?
Please name the authorities whose websites you have recorded as having
As you are probably aware, we have produced a monitoring strategy that
explains how we will be proactively monitoring the adoption of, and
publication in accordance with, the new model publication scheme. The
monitoring of authorities actually commenced on 20 April 2009, and
therefore no authorities had been monitored as part of the new monitoring
strategy as of 8 April 2009.
The first sector to be monitored as part of the new strategy is central
government. They will be monitored for approximately 4 weeks from 20 April
and then it is anticipated that the data will be analysed and a report
published within a further 3 to 4 weeks. Therefore, the first monitoring
report for central government will be published around mid-June.
Monitoring of other sectors will then follow, although the timescales for
each sector will be different.
2. Please give the total numbers and the names of the authorities you have
contacted since 01/01/09 to tell them that you wish them to make
improvements to their publication scheme.
No authorities had been contacted as of 8 April 2009 with regard to
monitoring of their publication scheme in line with the new monitoring
strategy. However, publications schemes may also be referred to as part of
an enforcement or complaint case.
I can confirm that 6 authorities’ have been contacted in writing between
1 January 2009 and 8 April 2009 to inform them that we wish them to make
improvements to their publication schemes as part of enforcement cases.
These authorities are Staffordshire Primary Care Trust, Royal Mail,
Lancashire Constabulary, South Wales Police, Northern Ireland Legal
Services Commission and the City and County of Swansea. In addition, the
issue was raised verbally with Leeds City Council on 1 April 2009 and
mentioned in a presentation given to the Metropolitan Police on 9 March
We have also commented on Staffordshire County Council’s publication
scheme as part of the ‘Other matters’ part of a Decision noticed
issued on 24 February 2009 (view PDF of Decision Notice FS50175530).
Publication scheme issues do not appear to have been mentioned in any
other Decision Notices issued in the period given.
Where complaints have been informally resolved (closed without a Decision
Notice being issued), a Case Officer may have written to an authority
asking them to make improvements to their publication scheme.
Whilst this information would sit within our electronic filing system,
these systems are not set up to easily provide us with the type of
information you have requested. This is because unless a publication
scheme is one of the main technical breaches on a case, the case will not
be labelled as involving a publication scheme. Therefore, I would have to
look at all cases open between 1 January 2009 and 8 April 2009. For FOI
complaints closed during this period alone, this amounts to 716
complaints. On average I estimate it would take 10 minutes per case to
find any relevant information, and therefore this would amount to in
excess of 100 hours. Searching all enquiries for any correspondence to
public authorities regarding publication schemes would be likely to take a
similar length of time.
Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act makes clear that a public
authority is not obliged to comply with a request if the authority
estimates that the cost of complying with the request would exceed the
‘appropriate limit'. The ‘appropriate limit’ for the Information
Commissioner’s Office, as determined in the ‘Freedom of Information
and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004’ is
£450. We have determined that £450 would equate to 18 hours work.
Therefore, to look through all enquiries and complaints would exceed this
Having said this, as I have not found any cases with section 19
(publication schemes) being marked as a technical breach, I suspect that
even if the above search was conducted, any information retrieved would be
If you are dissatisfied with the response you have received and wish to
request a review of our decision or make a complaint about how your
request has been handled you should write to the Internal Compliance Team
at the address below or e-mail [email address]
Your request for internal review should be submitted to us within 40
working days of receipt by you of this response. Any such request
received after this time will only be considered at the discretion of the
If having exhausted the review process you are not content that your
request or review has been dealt with correctly, you have a further right
of appeal to this office in our capacity as the statutory complaint
handler under the legislation. To make such an application, please write
to the Case Reception Team, at the address below or visit the
‘Complaints’ section of our website to make a Freedom of Information
Act or Environmental Information Regulations complaint online.
A copy of our review procedure is attached.
Assistant Internal Compliance Manager.
3. Link opens in new window
4. mailto:[email address]
We work to defend the right to FOI for everyone
Help us protect your right to hold public authorities to account. Donate and support our work.Donate Now