The Freedom of Information Act gives the public access to recorded information held by public sector organisations, both local and national. A report published by the Campaign for Freedom of Information puts the London Borough of Enfield close to the bottom of the table of London boroughs for responding to requests in a timely manner.
To quote from the report:
“We found that LB Enfield was doing poorly in meeting the statutory time limits, answering only 66% of requests on time in 2017/18. By contrast, some London councils managed to answer virtually all requests on time. The Information Commissioner expects authorities to respond to at least 90% of requests on time”.
Does this matter?
Without Freedom of Information requests there would be less transparency, in public decision making and spending. At the local level Freedom of Information requests have been instrumental in helping campaigners to piece together the ‘unorthodox’ way in which LBE has managed/mismanaged the Mini Holland scheme; from the selection of contractors, how they have been remunerated and managed, to the latest revelations concerning complex highways law, which have forced Enfield Council to conduct another consultation; which may need to be extended, because it hasn’t followed the correct procedures.
Should you wish to submit a Freedom of Information request use the What Do They Know? platform, which submits the request on your behalf, monitors when the response is given or not given and tracks whether the correct information has been provided. https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/
A lot of the time you don’t know what you don’t know; but nobody is going to tell you unless you ask!