§ Llew Smith
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what has been the cost to date to(a) Government Departments and (b) non-Departmental public bodies subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 of the steps taken to implement that Act; and what estimate he has made of the costs that will be incurred by the time the Act comes fully into force. 
§ Mr. Lammy
The information requested in points(a) and (b) of the hon. Member's question is not held centrally. However, we estimate that the cost to date of implementing FOI within my Department has been £180,207.
No recent estimate has been made of the collective costs that will be incurred by all departments and non-Departmental public bodies by the time the Act comes 379W into force. For my own Department, projected costs of implementation for the period March 2004 to January 2005 are a further £107,667.
Although no additional money is being made available centrally for implementing FOI, the cost of implementation should be considered in the light of the organisational and public benefits that it will bring through improved record keeping and relationships with the public, better decision making and greater public confidence in those decisions.