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Departmental Freedom of Information

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport how many staff in his Department were employed on the management of freedom of information requests submitted to his Department in each year since 2005; and how much his Department spent on the management of such requests in each such year. (299129)

Freedom of information requests are not handled centrally by most parts of the Department of Transport and it is therefore not possible, without incurring disproportionate costs, to say precisely how many staff were employed in the management of those requests, or how much has been spent on such management. The central Department and each of its agencies do however have central teams that advise on the handling of requests, provide guidance and training, and monitor performance etc., and the total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff employed in these teams across the Department is as follows:

Financial year

Number of FTE staff

2005-06

18.36

2006-07

17.68

2007-08

15.86

2008-09

14.82

More detailed information about the staffing of these central teams has, following a recent FOI request, been published on the Department for Transport website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/foi/responses/2009/aug/foi5554/foi5554.pdf

An assessment of the cost of freedom of information within Government can be found in Frontier Economics 2006 report "Independent Review of the Freedom of Information Act". A copy of this report is available in the House of Commons Library.