Time to allocate complaints to case officers - Jan./Feb./March 2017

J Roberts made this Freedom of Information request to Information Commissioner's Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Information Commissioner’s Office,

1. Please provide the number of FOI section 50 complaints you received in each of the first three months of 2017.

2. Please provide the number of these complaints that concerned:

i. Section 1 only;
ii. Section 10 only; and
iii. Section 1 and Section 10 only.

3. Please provide details of the average time taken to allocate complaints to case officers during the specified period, excluding the three categories I have identified above.

4. Of all the complaints received during the specified period, please state how many have resulted in decision notices being issued.

5. For relevant complaints concerning:

Section 1 only;
Section 10 only; and
Section 1 and Section 10 only

please state how many have resulted in decision notices being issued.

Yours faithfully,

J Roberts

AccessICOinformation, Information Commissioner's Office

Thank you for contacting the Information Commissioner’s Office. We confirm
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J Roberts left an annotation ()

Information Commissioner's Office

27 March 2018

 

Case Reference Number IRQ0732190

 

Dear J Roberts

 
 
Thank you for your recent request for information. We received your
request on 14 March 2018.
 
We have considered your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
(FOIA).
 
Your request
 
In your email you requested:
 
1. Please provide the number of FOI section 50 complaints you received in
each of the first three months of 2017.
2. Please provide the number of these complaints that concerned: i.
Section 1 only; ii. Section 10 only; and iii. Section 1 and Section 10
only.
3. Please provide details of the average time taken to allocate complaints
to case officers during the specified period, excluding the three
categories I have identified above.
4. Of all the complaints received during the specified period, please
state how many have resulted in decision notices being issued.
5. For relevant complaints concerning: Section 1 only; Section 10 only;
and Section 1 and Section 10 only please state how many have resulted in
decision notices being issued.
 
Our response 
 
We can confirm that we hold information we consider to be within the scope
of your request.
 
I shall respond to each section of your request in turn.
 
 

 1. Having checked our electronic case management system, which records
all complaints and enquiries submitted to the ICO, between January and
March 2017 the total number of FOI section 50 complaints received in
that period that have now been completed are: 1,333. 259 were opened
in January 2017; 234 in February 2017 and 327 in March 2017.
 2. Of those 1333 cases (i) 412 involved section 1 (ii) 408 involved
section 10 and (iii) 820 involved sections 1 and 10.
 3. Please see our response below.
 4. Of all the FOIA complaints received between January and March 2017,
360 resulted in a decision notice being served.
 5. Of those 360 decision notices: (i) 87 related to section 1 FOIA (ii)
52 related to section 10 FOIA and (iii) 139 related to section 1 and
section 10 FOIA.

 
Request 3
 
Between January and March 2017 we received 513 complaints under the FOIA
which did not relate to either section 1 or section 10 FOIA.
 
Our system only allows us to automatically collate the date of creation of
a case, not its allocation to a Case Officer, as we do not require this
information for the running of our day-to-day business.
 
Therefore, in order to respond to your request at point 3 it would be
necessary to individually check each and every one of these 513 cases. 
Assuming that each search of each of these cases would take approximately
3 minutes to complete (and it is likely that some searches would take
longer than that), this would equate to over 25 hours’ worth of
searching. 
 
You may be aware that section 12 of the FOIA makes clear that a public
authority (such as the ICO) is not obliged to comply with an FOIA request
if the authority estimates that the cost of complying with the request
would exceed the ‘appropriate limit'.  The ‘appropriate limit’ for the
ICO, 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.  Given that the search
I have outlined above would take well in excess of 18 hours it is for this
reason, and in accordance with section 12 of the FOIA, that we are not
obliged to comply with your request for information.
 
However, the system is able to tell us the average time of completion of
the cases within the scope of your request.
 
The average time from the opening of a case to its closing was 92 days.
 
The average time from the opening of a case to its closing, excluding
cases involving section 1 and section 10, was 131 days.
 
The average time from the opening of a case to its closing which resulted
in the serving of a decision notice, and including cases involving section
1 and section 10 FOIA, was 45 days.
 
We would point out that the statistical information provided above only
relates to those cases received in the first three months of 2017 that
have now been completed, and all management information relating to those
cases will have been fully updated.  Unfortunately we are unable to
provide statistical information where the complaints received between
January and March 2017 have not yet been completed, as the management
information will not have been updated yet.
 
By way of advice and assistance you may also be interested in some
statistics relating to cases that were closed between January and March
2017 but received earlier:
 
 

 1. The average time of completion was 88 days.
 2. The average time for completion excluding s1 and s10 cases was 135
days.

 
We hope you have found his information helpful.
 
Next steps
 
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 Information Access team
at the address below or email [1][ICO request email]
 
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
Commissioner.
 
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 Customer Contact department, 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 available [2]here.
 
 
Yours sincerely,
 
 

Frederick Aspbury
Lead Information Access Officer
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire SK9 5AF
T. 0330 414 6397 F. 01625 524510  [3]ico.org.uk  [4]twitter.com/iconews
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