Labour has criticised the Cabinet Office for having the "worst possible record" in responding to freedom of information (FoI) requests, despite leading on transparency for the government.
Shadow Cabinet Office minister Jon Trickett said during departmental questions on 2 November 2011 that the number of FoI requests responded to by the Cabinet Office had "nose dived" from 90% to 42% in a year.
He asked Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude: "Given the pride which the minister obviously takes in transparency, isn't it slightly odd, won't people think it's almost fishy, that his department which leads on these matters for the whole government has the worst possible record in responding to FoI requests?"
He went on: "What do they have to hide? Can the minister now tell us when he intends to get his house in order in relation to FoI?"
Mr Maude replied: "The Cabinet Office deals with FoI requests in relation to cabinet papers under the last government which takes some time to be dealt with because we need to consult with ministers in the last government."
He added that FoI requests relating to the Royal Family also needed to be dealt with in a "sensitive way with a lot of consultation".