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Freedom Of Information

Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many requests for information were received by his Department in each month since 1999; and how many were responded to within the target period as outlined in his Department's annual report. [115222]

[holding answer 22 May 2003]: Information is requested from the Department in a number of ways, of which the principal ones are:

Letters: for the levels of general correspondence, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 3 June, Official Report, column 311W. Of letters requiring an answer from Ministers, or from officials on their behalf: in the calendar year 2000, 50 per cent. were answered on time; in the financial year 2001–02 it was 80 per cent. and in 2002–03 it was 95 per cent.

Subject access requests under the Data Protection Act: the first such requests were made during 2002–03 when the Department received 91 requests, all of which were answered on time.

Requests under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information: in 2002–03 there were 11 requests of which three were answered within 20 working days; in 2001–02 there were three requests, all of which received a substantive or interim answer within 20 days; and in 2000–01 there were no requests.

Phone calls/informal e-mails: these are answered as promptly as possible.

Parliamentary questions: these are answered in accordance with parliamentary procedures.