By Steve Bailey
There’s frost on the ground, a chill in the air and the first window on your Advent Calendar just begs to be opened! So as we approach Christmas and the end of yet another year so its time once again for us to launch our annual Information legislation and management survey for 2012.
It’s been a busy year compliance wise, what with the Government’s Post-Legislative Scrutiny of the Freedom of Information Act and the introduction of the Protection of Freedoms Act, as well as the usual anecdotal evidence of an ever increasing number of requests received.
We know how valuable it is for everyone to have access to accurate and robust data, whether it is for internal planning purposes or as part of sector-wide representation and this is precisely what our survey gives us year after year. But it can only do so with your support.
This year will mark the final year where we only offer the option of submitting your data via the end of year online survey. This will continue to be an option in future years, but we are hopeful that a good many institutions will choose to adopt the Information request register we launched earlier this month to collect data not only for their internal tracking purposes, but also for their survey return too. Do bear in mind that if you are proposing to use this approach you will need to start using the register from January 2013 as it is meant to be used in real time, not retrospectively!
On the subject of data: you might be interested to know that we have recently completed Phase 2 of our FOI costing project. This builds on the data generated from Phase 1 earlier in the year and uses the same methodology to track the total cost of dealing with FOI requests over an extended time period and increased number of requests. It will be fascinating to see how this compares with and affects the £99/£121 per request figures we came up with last time (depending on whether you include on-costs or not). Watch this space in early 2013 for details!