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Departmental Freedom of Information

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what proportion of the Freedom of Information requests his Department has received in the last 12 months were answered with (a) the information requested, (b) a refusal and (c) a partial disclosure (i) within 20 working days and (ii) after more than 20 working days. (175321)

The Ministry of Defence received 3,103 Freedom of Information requests in the period from October 2006 to September 2007, the most recent 12-month period for which statistics are available. Of these requests, 2,571, 83 per cent., were answered within 20 working days. 532 requests (17 per cent.) required longer than 20 working days to answer. However, in 148 of these cases (5 per cent. of the total received), the delay was authorised by a legitimate extension of the 20-working day time limit, permitted under the Freedom of Information Act; the Department, therefore, answered 88 per cent. of requests for information 'in-time'.

Of the total requests for information received, 2,639 were deemed 'resolvable', i.e. it was possible to make a substantive decision on the release of the information sought, as distinct from those cases where the Department does not hold the information requested, or where the request is withdrawn or altered by the applicant. 1,810 (69 per cent.) of these resolvable requests were answered in full with all the information requested, 354 (13 per cent.) requests were refused in full; while 224 (8 per cent.) requests were answered by partial disclosure of the information requested. The remaining 10 per cent. of requests had not received a response at the time these statistics were collected, which is done by quarterly report.

Status of FOI requests by number and percentage for the period October 2006 to September 2007




Information released






Partial release



Within 20 working days



>20 working days






1 Of 2,639 resolvable requests. 2 148 permitted extension.