Is today Day Zero or Day One?

This might sound pretty pointless and silly but when talking about a 20 working day SLA a day can mean alot between a massive fine or compliance.

During one of my driving lessons with Gary we were talking about his recent streak of passes. The conversation then lead on to pass rates and us wondering how this broken down – for example, by gender, ethnicity, age, driving instructor type (intense driving school \ chain \ individual driving instructor \ family etc).

Still curious, I decided to send off an a FOI request, before doing so, I went looking to see if someone else has which lead me to find some rather shocking data (see the bottom of the post). For those who don’t know, FOI stands for Freedom of Information. This is where Joe Public can request (reasonable) information from the public sector – after all, it is your (tax) money that they are spending. Logging FOI is dead straightforward thanks to WhatDoTheyKnow. Anyway, the Freedom of Information Act requires them (public sector folks) to reply within 20 working days.

First question. If I log a call on Sunday, what day is day one? So firstly, Sunday doesn’t count. It’s not a weekday. So Monday’s day 1? That’s what I would think, and it’s even what WhatDoTheyKnow says, but the DVLA say its the Tuesday. After a few emails between them both, I went off an ask ICO, Information Commissioner’s Office who’s responsible for these things. Here is their response

counting the first working day after a valid request is received as the first day

So, if you log a FOI over the weekend, they receive it on the Monday, that’s Day Zero. Day One is actually the second day.

They also say

Working day means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or public holidays and bank holidays; this may or may not be the same as the days they are open for business or staff are in work.

 

So its important that public sector don’t close for extra days as they risk eating into that time they have to respond to FOI request and failure to reply can (ultimately) result in fines.

Going off topic – there are some determined people in Suffolk who really want to drive.

Source: FOI request via WhatDoTheyKnow