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Russell Group universities reveal they have few FOI staff

The 20 Russell Group universities have just 26 members of staff that handle Freedom of Information requests between them, an investigation has found.

The information was obtained by the News Media Association through a series of FOI requests that asked which members of staff had FOI-related activities listed as part of their roles. In contrast, the universities have 284 communications officers between them, the responses showed.

A review of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is on-going and the Independent Commission on Freedom of Information is to hear from its first witnesses on 20 and 21 January. Evidence will be given by information commissioner Christopher Graham, representatives from vice-chancellors’ group UUK, and Richard Ekins and Christopher Forsyth, law professors from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, respectively.

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