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Good FOI Response Time

According to the February's Freedom of Information report, most public authorities are responding to requests well within the 30 calendar days allowed by the law, said FOI Coordinator Carole Excell.

"Even when consultations with applicants and third parties were necessary, the average response time was fewer than 14 days," she noted.

From 5 January to 28 February, 172 FOI requests were made, of which 71 remain in progress. Of the 101 requests that were closed in January and February, 100 of them were responded to within the FOI Law's 30-day timeframe. The only request that missed the deadline was met two days after that deadline.

"I am very satisfied with the efficient responses by the respective information managers," Mrs Excell said. "The challenge for government will be to continue to meet the 30-day requirement consistently, to provide a satisfactory experience for applicants in using the law to obtain information."

Fifty-five requests for information were made from 1 February to 28 February, compared to 117 during January. During that period, the Immigration Department and the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service once again topped the list, with both receiving eight FOI requests.

For February, Cayman Airways had four requests, and the remaining government offices fielded three or fewer requests from the public.

The nine-page February FOI implementation report gives examples of the types of requests that were made during the month.

Of the 65 requests that were closed in February, 33 were granted in full, six were granted in part, and five were exempt in their entirety. Eight applicants requested records that were available in the public domain, and in seven cases the respective Information Managers determined that their public authority held no records related to the requests. Additionally, three requests were withdrawn by the applicants, and another three were deferred.

The first two monthly reports, which include supporting charts and graphs, are on the FOI Unit's website at www.foi.gov.ky. They also can be accessed through the official government portal, www.gov.ky. The reports details the number of requests made to each public authority, as well as the outcomes of those requests.

Each public authority also maintains an online disclosure log, in which requests of general public interest (and the decisions made on these requests) are recorded.

For more information about FOI in the Cayman Islands, visit www.foi.gov.ky, or collect a user guide from the FOI Office in Elizabethan Square, George Town.

For further information contact: Lennon Christian