The Home Office is not famed for its speedy handling of Freedom of Information requests, but it looks like it could be paddling up the

Since 25th November the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has upheld 11 complaints that Theresa May’s charges have not responded to FOI requests on time.

Decision Notices on the ICO website show the requests relate to child abuse inquiries, problems at the passport office, and immigration issues.

It’s worth remembering that these Decision Notices are only issued where the requester has taken the time to complain. There could be scores more requests that the Home Office are failing to respond to within 20 working days.

In each summary of the complaint the ICO says in a mealy-mouthed manner: “The Commissioner requires the HO to respond to the request”.

It is surely time for the ICO to take more action against the Home Office and other public authorities who are clearly not performing in line with the Act’s timescales.

(H/t: Originally spotted by Jon Baines) 


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.