The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has launched an online toolkit to help public authorities respond to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests as organisations prepare their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The toolkit is designed to assess compliance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and to help organisations self-assess their performance in responding to FOI requests. The first phase of the toolkit focuses on timeliness, and is split into five modules covering: response rates; handling requests; training and awareness; compliance and assurance and governance structure.
Further toolkit developments will see other issues addressed, such as where the cost of compliance exceeds the appropriate limit. Prior to launch, the toolkit was tested with a range of public authorities who provided feedback and input for improvement. The ICO also received assistance from the Scottish Information Commissioner during the toolkit’s development stage.