ICO will not penalise for missing FOI deadlines

On 16 March 2020 the ICO announced that because of the coronavirus pandemic, it would not penalise organisations if they cannot meet the statutory timeframes for responding to FOI requests.

“We understand that resources, whether they are finances or people, may be diverted away from usual compliance or information rights work. Whilst we can’t extend statutory timescales, we will not be penalising public authorities for prioritising other areas or adapting their usual approach during this extraordinary period,” the ICO said.

The Campaign for Freedom of Information says this is not big news as “ICO enforcement is already extremely low key”. It is aware however that individuals’ rights are affected.

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