Birmingham City Council figures reveal that upon passing the Freedom of Information Act’s tenth anniversary there has been an 80% increase in the number of Freedom of Information requests made to them each year in the last five years.
In regards to this rapid increase a Birmingham City Council spokesperson said that they fully support the concept of transparency and agree that FOIs are a “well-intentioned tool.” But also added:
“When you factor in the impact of central government cuts to local councils in terms of reducing workforce numbers and the fact no central government money has been set aside for councils to deal with the FOI act, we are left with an increasingly difficult situation.
“It is now becoming a challenge to simply respond to FOIs within the statutory timescales. This is further made difficult by the fact there is increasing complexity in the way information is now owned. Birmingham, like many councils, has created wholly-owned companies to deliver services. Although essentially separate from the council, such companies are still subject to the FOI Act, placing even further strain on our resources.”