FOI requests double for UK Councils

UK councils are handling nearly double the amount of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests compared to 2010 estimates, according to a report from mySociety.

The study found that local government now receives approximately 467,000 FOIs a year, which is ten times the number of FOI requests received by Central Government.

Highlights

  • UK councils receive 467,000 FOIs a year

  • 66% use a form of case management system

  • Quality and operability varies “significantly”

66% of councils were found to use some form of case management system but the quality and operability of the systems between local authorities vary “significantly”. The greater use of management software was in line with higher average amounts of requests.

Tina Dunkin, Customer Relations and Improvement Manager at Hounslow Borough Council comments:

“We, like many other councils, have seen an increase in the volume of Information requests and in Hounslow we had an increase of around 30% in one year alone from 2017/18 to 18/19.

 

"There’s greater awareness amongst the public of their information rights and therefore they want to know more”.

Hounslow recently moved its FOI process to the Jadu Continuum CXM platform as part of its digital transformation programme.

“By moving to Jadu, we now have an online submission available via our website making it easier for the public to request information. This means that it is quicker for us to get the request to the right team and for them to respond quickly.

 

"Also each team has their own dashboard so they can better manage their own requests in real time. This means we’ve improved our overall response times.”

READ: Tina's 8 tips for moving to a new CRM

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