But the powers are a waste of time unless...
... the regulator also has the resources to implement them effectively!
I requested the ICO to exercise their statutory power to make a "Section 50" [Freedom of Information Act 2000] decision over a refusal by a public body (an NHS Trust) to disclose the minutes of certain meetings of one of their panels. This was in February 2006!
NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENED for over a year - no-one was allocated to start looking into the request, no-one responded to my e-mails, and after asking my Member of Parliament to look into it, she was told the same - resource problems meant that such cases were taking over a year just to be assessed for allocation.
About a month ago (March 2007), I got a letter stating that it was now being looked into.
So, lots of money for a few hundred database inspectors, then...???!!