Headlines: September 19th, 2003

A survey, earlier this year, by The Stationery Office showed that 63 per cent of public sector respondents believed that the changes needed in their internal operations in order to reach compliance with the Freedom of Information Act by January 2005 would be minimal or non-existent. A new survey commissioned by Documentum, Fujitsu Consulting, BEA, Captiva and Sun, now shows that 82 per cent believe that changes to existing processes are a barrier to compliance. The survey covered 150 organisations including central government departments and local authorities.Sharing information between agencies to achieve customer centric services also emerged as an area of concern. Only 15 per cent of the respondents have any sort of compliance in place, with most respondents aiming to be compliant by the end of this year (29 per cent) or 2004 (18 per cent).

Eighty two per cent of respondents cited the change of their existing processes as a major impediment to achieving their objectives, while 62 per cent highlighted the cost of implementation as another significant barrier. Forty two per cent of the respondents also stated that they were confused about the policy or regulations regarding the sharing of information and needed help in this area. Lack of in-house skills was quoted by 30 per cent of organisations as a reason for slow progress towards implementation.