The primary intention of interventions is not to penalise authorities for poor practice, but to support them in improving their performance, including by identifying and resolving or overcoming any internal issues within the public authority that are impacting on that performance.
However, where an authority fails to take appropriate action or to achieve a target outcome, the Commissioner has the power to issue formal practice recommendations and/or enforcement notices.
We will publish information periodically about the interventions we undertake, and once an intervention is closed, will ensure appropriate learning points are made available for other authorities to benefit from where possible.
As stated in our Strategic Plan 2020-24, although our capacity to carry out interventions may fluctuate depending on resource availability and the volume of appeals we receive, they are a proportionate, efficient and effective way of resolving identified FOI practice failures. Interventions represent proactive enforcement, with the aim of improving practice not just in one case but across the board, and are essential to achieving many of our Strategic Objectives.
If you have any questions about our approach to interventions or the content of the Procedures, please contact us.