Police & FoIA

01/2020

The NPCC National Data Protection/FOI Lead (ACC Nick Bailey) wrote to all forces at the end of
last year, indicating that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had taken the decision to
publish performance data regarding compliance, in relation to Freedom of Information Act (FOI)
and Subject Access Requests (SAR). This paper seeks to brief Chief Officers in relation to the
potential implications for Kent Police.

The ICO have been engaged with ACC Bailey over the latter half of 2019 regarding the perceived
lack of compliance with requests from the public under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and
the Data Protection Act (SARs). The ICO expectation is that FOI compliance is 90% but there is no
similar SAR performance expectation, other than comply with the legislative requirement of
providing a substantive response within 30 days (which is hugely challenging and, in many cases,
unachievable given the complexity of the material held). Many forces find themselves failing to
comply with this and some by considerable margins, with some subject to improvement plans from
the ICO (the ICO have been ‘monitoring’ our compliance through a monthly update process).
Whilst ACC Bailey is working with the ICO to ensure this is a fair reflection of the data, it is
conceivable that this will be represented in a format which compares forces against each other.

source – Appendix 2