Lies, Damn Lies & FOI Statistics

FOIMan looks at the difficulties of monitoring FOI requests and of relying on published FOI statistics.

freedom-of-information-graphic-smallThe report of the Independent FOI Commission published in March recommended, amongst other things, the mandatory publication of FOI statistics by public bodies. The government, whilst ruling out changes to the law to this effect, has indicated that it will include something on this in the revised section 45 Code of Practice (which we’re now told will be issued by the end of 2016).

Most practitioners will know the pleasures and problems involved in collating statistics on FOI performance. In my latest piece for PDP’s Freedom of Information Journal, I discuss the challenges involved in preparing monitoring reports – and why, therefore, researchers need to be wary when reaching conclusions based on them.

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