THURROCK Council has backed reforms to the Freedom of Information Act.
The Local Government Association (LGA) has suggested fees for requests should be introduced and the time councils have to spend responding to them lowered from 18 hours to eight.
In a consultation on the Freedom of Information Act, the LGA said requests to councils have increased by 39% over the past three years. They also warned that councils were facing increasing requests of a commercial and ‘vexatious’ nature.
A Thurrock Council spokesperson said: "We responded to the LGA consultation about this by saying the free time limit threshold for refusal should be reduced from 18 hours; organisations should be able to refuse if they have clear evidence the Act is being used for commercial gain – such as by contractors; and organisations should be able to challenge more robustly if they believe requestors are using a false name".
The General Medical Council, the medical profession’s disciplinary body, would prefer to charge the public for the cost of releases, according to its submission.
The National Police Chiefs Council, which represents the UK’s most senior officers, claims to be facing growing numbers of “unreasonable and burdensome requests” by journalists and members of the public.