The volunteer team behind our Freedom of Information (FOI) site WhatDoTheyKnow.com, has used statistics released by the Ministry of Justice to discover the proportion of all FOI requests being made via the site.
They found that in the first quarter of 2009, 8.5% of all requests made to central government departments were made using WhatDoTheyKnow. In absolute terms that was 514 of 6019 requests.
The breakdown by department is given in the below table. Notably, one in five FOI requests to the Home Office (122 of 643) were made via WhatDoTheyKnow.
WDTK = WhatDoTheyKnow; Source for total FOI request statistics : Statistics for Q1 2009 (released on the 25th of June 2009); Extended table covering all monitored bodies available.
The Ministry of Justice only monitors, and provides statistics on, 44 bodies’ compliance with the Freedom of Information Act; WhatDoTheyKnow currently lists 2910. We cover a wide range of local bodies including Primary Care Trusts, Local Councils and the Police. There is no national monitoring of how many FOI requests are made to such bodies, or how well they perform when responding to requests.
If you want to see such performance statistics, please help categorise more of the responses made via the site. It can be quite addictive!
Thanks to Richard Taylor for doing this research – see his blog post for some more details, including some information about Scotland.