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Departmental Freedom of Information

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff in her Department were employed on the management of freedom of information requests submitted to her Department in each year since 2005; and how much her Department spent on the management of such requests in each such year. (299133)

Freedom of information within my Department is overseen by a central team consisting of four full-time staff dedicated to freedom of information (FoI). This team is supported by a network of business unit Focal Points who coordinate and allocate those requests for information that fall outside normal business and which are dealt with formally under the FoI Act. The FoI focal points are spread across all the Department’s key business units and FoI is only part of their duties. It is not possible to disaggregate the time and cost incurred in discharging their FoI responsibilities.

Neither does my Department hold information on costs of responding to individual FoI requests as this is an integral part of all staffs’ responsibilities.