Suffolk Freedom of Information requests up 57% last year
Some Freedom of Information Act requests are frivolous although they can provide the hard-pressed staff in what must be a sometimes difficult job with some light relief. Leicester City Council was asked about preparedness for a zombie invation (hat tip to @waveneydc).
I have not heard of anything like that being asked of Suffolk County Council but they are increasingly busy dealing with information requests as this chart which has appeared on their web page shows.
Rises since the implementation of the act in 2005 would have been expected but the big increase between 2009 (622 requests) and 2010 (978 requests) suggests that something more is going on. One would have hoped that the Act would have made the council more transparent, but it is clear that last year Suffolk people were resorting to FoI requests much more often.
The reasons are not hard to guess. But there must be a lot of similar or duplicated requests which could be avoided if all responses were published.
This would hardly be revolutionary. Government departments do and so does Suffolk Police.
And provided the new county council leader, Mark Bee, delivers on his promise of greater transparency the figure should start to decline. That is an easy cost to cut.