Handling of FOI Requests at The National Archives

FOI request reference: F0050313
Publication date: October 2017


1. With regards to your internal processes for responding to Freedom of
Information (FOI) requests, do you use any software solutions to manage
the process or is it still predominantly a manual exercise?

1a. If a software solution is used, please could you advise on the
system used and supplier?

2. On average, how many FOI requests do you receive on a monthly basis?

3. What is your current average response time when handling FOI requests?

4. Please may I be provided with the full contact details (inclusive of
telephone no. & email) of the individual within your team who is
responsible for the management and performance of your FOI handling process?




Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2000. The FOI Act gives you the right to know whether we hold the information you want and to have it communicated to you, subject to any exemptions which may apply.

I can confirm that The National Archives holds information relevant to your request and we are pleased to be able to provide this information to you.

1. The National Archives uses a software solution to manage the FOI process.

1a. The National Archives uses a tracking system called Supportworks supplied by Hornbill.

2. Information about the number of FOI requests received by The National Archives can be found here:

3. In September 2017, our average response time for answering FOI requests for closed archival records was 27.2 days.

The National Archives occupies a unique position within the FOI Act legislation as we are required to consult with other government departments before processing requests for access to closed archival records. As such section 10(4) of the Act specifies that The National Archives be granted additional time to process such requests in order to allow for this obligatory consultation period. This additional processing period constitutes another 10 working days, allowing The National Archives a maximum of 30 working days to complete this consultation process.

In September 2017, our average response time for answering FOI requests for closed archival records that required a public interest test was 68.8 days.

You can find guidance on acceptable time frames for processing FOI requests that require a public interest test here:

4. The person responsible for the performance and management of FOI handling at The National Archives is Helen Potter, Head of FOI Centre.

You can contact the FOI Centre via:

FOI Centre
The National Archives

Email:  FOICentre@nationalarchives.gov.uk
Tel: 020 8876 3444