Thursday, 21 October 2010

The Mayor (doesn't) answer to London

I've written before on how utterly useless the GLA are at responding to Freedom of Information requests.

Of all the many requests I've submitted only a handful have been answered on time and in full, and the whole process takes so long that most people won't even bother.

In fact their performance has got so bad that the Information Commissioner has now placed Transport for London on an official watchlist for late requests.

After last week's Mayor's Question Time, Conservative Assembly member Victoria Borwick submitted the following written question:

Victoria Borwick: The Information Commissioner has named and shamed TfL as one of the public bodies failing to adhere to FOI rules, what are TfL going to do to raise their game and ensure they do what is required of them? 

Answer from the Mayor: Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

Of course!

The Mayor also failed to answer another 30 or so questions within the required time, including this one:

Andrew Boff: How much does it cost to answer this question?

Answer from the Mayor: Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly.

You couldn't make it up. Meanwhile the Mayor's answer search on the GLA website has died:

I emailed the City Hall web team yesterday asking them to fix it.

Needless to say I haven't had a reply.


Mark L said...

Not surprising.

I recently submitted an FoI request to TfL, requesting documentation backing up an answer that was given by the Mayor in an MQT session.

Needless to say, I've just received an email from TfL saying "Unfortunately we will not be able to resolve your request within the statutory 20 working day deadline. This is because we are still collating all the information that we need to be able to respond to your enquiry effectively."


AdamBienkov said...

Unsurprisingly those requests putting the authority in a good light tend to be answered rather quicker in my experience. What was it you wanted to find out?

Anonymous said...

Presumably the Mayor is so clever that he knew the answer to something before the information about it had been collated!


AdamB said...

But of course. He is omniscient!

Mark L said...

Adam - a very local issue about the de-gyratoring of Vauxhall Cross. A Mayoral answer said it was being investigated by TfL and stakeholders... but that was news to a lot of people. It's been mooted many times, but never really got beyond the "mooting" stage.

AdamB said...

Thanks Mark,

I should point out the the City Hall web team have now been in touch to say they've fixed the search function.