Information Commissioner’s Office publishes “Openness by Design”, its new access to information strategy

The strategy sets out five goals relating to the suite of access to information legislation regulated by the ICO: Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000, the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004, and the Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015.

The five “Openness by Design” goals are:

  • ensuring that access to information rights is upheld in a consistent and timely manner and operates effectively in a digital age;
  • providing excellent customer service to individuals who make requests to the ICO and leading by example in fulfilling its own statutory functions;
  • raising awareness of access to information rights and making it easier for the public to exercise their rights;
  • promoting the reform of access to information legislation so it remains relevant for modern society and fit for purpose; and
  • further developing and sustaining international collaboration, learning from the best initiatives around the world.

The ICO says that its ambition is to “increase the impact of its regulation of access to information legislation”. The ICO will encourage public authorities to comply with the law in the first instance, reducing the need for people to complain to the regulator. Where necessary, the ICO will take enforcement action and make full use of its spectrum of powers.

The ICO says that the strategy, which runs until 2022, will be continually assessed to ensure it aligns with its Information Rights Strategic Plan. Progress against the goals will be reported in the Information Commissioner’s Annual Report. To read the ICO’s press release in full and for access to the strategy document, click here.