You see, if you were Ken Clarke, and you wanted to know the answer from HMP, then HMP is going to need to collect some data, and that means they need to invoke the Dat Gateway Service Approval of Data Collections process, which means lots of forms to fill in, impact assessments to be made, meetings to consider, and then meeting to approve the data collection proposal; careful though, you may need to make a complete business case too.
This is complicated stuff people!
The good news people is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It is possible for a minister to find out just how many prisons officers it takes to change a light bulb, they need to be patient though.
"Requests are considered monthly with a deadline of the last Friday in each month. Most requests are expected to take between 2 and 3 weeks from receipt of the Initial Request Form to approval of the collection. The most complex requests which require referral to the Performance Sub-Committee may take up to 6 weeks to complete."Alternatively they could put in an FoI request which are exempt from this process, although that doesn't mean it will not take just as long to get a meaningful reply though.
A tip of the hat to a reader for spotting this wonderfully convoluted process.