[UPDATE: You can read a more detailed post on the figures below here] 

The number of Freedom of Information requests made to the Departments of State increased by eight percent last year, new figures from the Ministry of Justice show. 

The ministerial departments received 32,828 requests, a rise of 8%, which the Ministry of Justice say was  driven by requests to the Department of Health and the Department of Work and Pensions as a result of “controversial policies being introduced.”

In comparison all central government bodies monitored by the Ministry of Justice had a FOI increase of 5% in 2012.

The 43 bodies monitored by the MoJ received 49,464 FOI requests in the last calendar year, this is against 47,141 requests received in 2011.

Requests by department

The Health and Safety Executive received the most FOI requests (6,631), followed by Department for Work and Pensions (4,778), and the Home Office (3,903).

The Department of Work and Pensions also saw the biggest percentage increase in the number of requests as they received 36% more (1,268 requests). The Treasury received 632 more request (a 29 percent increase), and the Home Office saw a 17% rise, dealing with an extra 568 requests.

Late responses

The Department for Work and Pensions, who had the largest increase of request, also was the central government department who answered the most Freedom of Information requests late during 2012. They answered 748 requests after the 20 working day deadline imposed by the act.

The Home Office then answered 629 requests late, followed by the Health and Safety Executive who failed to answer 208 requests on time.


More will follow on the figures released by the Ministry of Justice.

The full data can be found here. 


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.