(2) in respect of which requests for information received by his Department in 2008 under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 it has received permission to extend the deadline for a response by more than 40 days; and what the reason for the request for an extension was in each case.
The Ministry of Justice publishes quarterly and annual statistics on the performance of central Government in dealing with requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.
In 2008, the Ministry of Justice received 2,492 requests under the Act. Of these, 529 sought information which was not held by the Department, and in respect of a further 426, the requester was provided with advice and assistance because further information was needed in order to identify the information being sought. The remaining 1,537 requests were “resolvable”, in that it was possible for the Department to make a substantive decision on whether to release the information being requested, 393 of these were refused in full.
Where a qualified exemption applies to information sought, the Freedom of Information Act allows public bodies additional time to consider whether the balance of the public interest falls in favour of releasing or withholding that information. Of those requests initially received by the Ministry of Justice during 2008 which were answered by the time the annual statistics were collected, the deadline for response was extended for more than 40 working days on 45 occasions.
The 2008 statistics can be found at the following address: