The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a consultation into how it prioritises complaints relating to how public authorities handle freedom of information (FOI) requests. The ICO proposes to prioritise complaints where there is a clear public interest and has established a new test based on four criteria based on whether:
- There is a high public interest that raises a novel or high-profile issue that requires looking at quickly.
- The requester is raising awareness of information rights or other issues of significant public interest issues or is supporting vulnerable groups.
- Vulnerable groups or individuals are significantly affected by the information requested.
- Prioritisation would have meaningful operational benefits or support those regulated.
The ICO believes the current system means cases are taking too long to complete and is affecting transparency. The new prioritisation criteria will also cover the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).
The consultation closes on 19 December 2022.
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