The Metropolitan Police are still failing to improve at responding to FOI requests, the Information Commissioner has said.  

In the, almost, quarterly round up of the authorities to be watched for their failure to respond to more than 85% of FOI requests it turns out that London’s force is going to be continued to be pondered over by the regulator.

It has been thinking about ‘whether further action is required’ for quite a while now.

For those keen on FOI performance it is interesting to note that the Met has only had four Section 10 complaints upheld about it over the period. 

As it is almost impossible to remember a time when the Met wasn’t being watched for its poor response to requests, here’s a handy guide:

April 1st 2013: ICO announces monitoring of Met

“The Metropolitan Police Service, the London Borough of Barnet and Manchester City Council are being monitored after the ICO received a significant number of complaints about each authorities’ failure to respond to requests within the statutory time limit.”

The force are to be monitored until June.

 August 2013

The results from the last monitoring exercise, which occurred between 1 April and 30 June, will be published in the autumn.

January 24th 2014: Met’s monitoring has been quietly extended

During the monitoring period 1 April to 30 June 2013 the Metropolitan Police Service did not make satisfactory improvements to the timeliness of its FOI responses. The monitoring period was extended by a further three months and the ICO, while recognising that the service is still going through significant reorganisation, is currently considering the results from the extended period before deciding whether further action is required.

May 7th 2014: Happy one year monitoring anniversary, love ICO.  

The ICO remains concerned about the performance of the Metropolitan Police Service. The force, again, failed to make satisfactory improvements to its performance during the extended monitoring period that occurred between 1 July and 30 September 2013.The force has provided details of changes it plans to introduce to improve its performance and the ICO is currently considering whether these proposals are sufficient, or whether further action is required. In the meantime, the ICO will continue to monitor the timeliness of the force’s responses to FOI requests until a final decision has been reached.

September 22nd 2014: Yep, it’s still going on… 

The ICO remains concerned over the timeliness of the FOI responses provided by the Metropolitan Police. Despite numerous internal changes aimed at improving their performance, the authority is still failing to respond to over 85 % of requests in time. The ICO will be meeting with representatives from the authority in the coming weeks and will then decide whether further action is required.

I am a journalist and author. I am a journalist at the UK edition of WIRED magazine. In 2015, my first book Freedom of Information: A Practical Guide for UK Journalists, was published. My second book Reed Hastings: Building Netflix, was published in March 2020. I created FOI Directory in 2012 and have maintained it in my spare time ever since.