Letter: 19 April 2011

Council answers quickly

IT WAS unfortunate to read that Birmingham City Council is to face “regulatory action” over its response time to Freedom of Information Act requests (Mail, April 13).

Over the past couple of years, I have submitted several such requests to various different local authorities, and have never had a problem with lengthy response times.

In fact, from what I recall, Birmingham City Council were one of the fastest to respond to any requests for information.

It is important to remember, though, that every council receives a large number of requests each month, and must strive to respond fully to each, no matter how pointless they may seem, within the time set out by law, yet also in the most cost-effective manner.

After all, taxpayers would be up in arms if they learned that an excessive amount of their money was being spent delivering responses, when it could be allocated elsewhere protecting vital front line services.

Then again, if that was happening, I suppose they would only find out through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Alan W Collins, by email