Since I am used to silent bureaucracies this was a bit of a shock: I had received an acknowledgment to my email. Not just an acknowledgment after a few days, but an acknowledgment of receipt of my email the same day Friday – December 07, 2012 at 12:31pm. One hour and 24 minutes after I had sent my request, that same day, at 11:07 AM.
Of course, I thought that it was an automated reply, but I came to realize that someone had looked at my request, assessed it, deemed it suitable and replied to me with a standard text in 1 hour and 24 minutes.
In reading the email, I saw that they had given themselves a deadline and by default also given me a deadline by which I could expect to receive material in my Inbox.
It was an exciting moment because it meant that we could really go ahead with the project. And I could expect some data by January 10, 2013.
Below is the reply from the Arts Council.
Dear Professor Aceti,
Thank you for your request for information from the Arts Council.
I can confirm that this request will be dealt with in line with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. This means that we will respond to your request in full as soon as possible and, at the latest, within 20 working days from the day we received your email. Consequently you will hear from us no later than 10 January 2013.
If you would like to know more about how we will deal with your request for information, you can find information on our website http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/who-we-are/transparency/freedom-of-information/ .
Alternatively for a more comprehensive look at information rights legislation, please visit the Information Commissioner’s website http://www.ico.gov.uk/ .
If you have any further queries in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me.
Senior Officer, Freedom of Information
Arts Council England, National Office