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Information Commissioner

Volume 475: debated on Wednesday 14 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many cases are awaiting investigation by the Information Commissioner. (204897)

The Information Commissioner is an independent body created by statute with responsibility for handling complaints made to him under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998. The Information Commissioner has provided the answer to this parliamentary question.

At 31 March 2008, the number of cases awaiting investigation by the Information Commissioner was 1,363 for freedom of information casework and 1,237 for data protection casework.

Additionally, due to the volume of cases referred to the Information Commissioner under data protection, there were 2,250 cases awaiting classification as at 31 March 2008. Of these cases, it is estimated that approximately 60 per cent. would be resolved within 30 calendar days and 85 per cent. within 90 calendar days.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average length of time between acceptance of a case for investigation by the Information Commissioner and the commencement of the investigation was in the last period for which figures are available. (204898)

The Information Commissioner is an independent body created by statute with responsibility for handling complaints made to him under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 1998. The Information Commissioner has provided the answer to this parliamentary question.

The Information Commissioner deals with two types of cases: those that come under that Freedom of Information Act and those that come under the Data Protection Act. Between April 2007 and March 2008 the average length of time from receipt to commencement of investigation was 69 days for the Freedom of Information Act cases and 30 days for Data Protection Act cases. The average length of time to close an investigation once commenced, was 182 days from for Freedom of Information Act cases and 45 days for Data Protection Act cases.