Archives for CFOI

Draft FOI (Scotland) Act 2002 (Designation of Persons as Scottish Public Authorities) Order 2019

Submission by the Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland to the Local Government and Communities Committee in advance of its consideration of the draft Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (Designation of Persons as Scottish Public Authorities) Order 2019.

Response to ICO consultation ‘Openness by Design: Our draft access to information strategy’

We welcome the introduction of a draft access to information strategy, particularly as recent ICO strategic documents such as the ‘Information Rights Strategic Plan 2017-2021’ and the ‘Regulatory Action Policy’ primarily reflect a data protection perspective even though they apply to the full range of the ICO’s functions including FOI. We are extremely pleased to see access to information now being dealt with in its own terms.
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London councils’ FOI performance assessed

A new report by the Campaign for Freedom of Information reveals that some London councils are failing to comply with the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act’s time limits in as many as 40% of the requests they receive, causing long delays before information is released. On the other hand some are close to answering 100% of requests on time. The Information Commissioner (IC), who enforces the FOI Act, expects authorities to answer at least 90% of requests on time. The report finds that 25 out of 34 London councils surveyed fell short of this target in 2017/18. The scale of this problem had previously been obscured by the fact that many of the underperforming councils publish no statistics on their handling of requests.
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Information Commissioner & Tribunal Decisions – what do they mean in practice?

Photo: Freedom of Information Act 2000

Photo: Campaign for Freedom of Information

When: 14th May 2019
Where: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm

The Information Commissioner has issued almost 12,500 decision notices under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations – while the Information Rights Tribunal has published over 2,200 decisions. A significant number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal and courts have also been decided. These complex decisions are essential materials for anyone trying to understand what public authorities must do to comply with the legislation.

This course, now in its 14th year, is aimed at experienced FOI practitioners and others with a good working knowledge of the legislation. It highlights the latest developments in the way the exemptions, public interest test and the legislation’s procedural requirements are being interpreted.
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Scottish Public Information Forum 25 March 2019

The next meeting of the SPIF will be on 25th March 2019 from 1pm – 4.30pm and will be hosted by CVS Inverclyde, Inverclyde Community Hub, 75-81 Cathcart Street, Greenock, PA15 1DE.

An agenda for the meeting is available here.

Registration is free at Eventbrite.

 

Using the FOI Act, 29 January 2019

Photograph: Samuel Zeller

When: Tuesday 29 January 2019
Where: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: Registration 9:45 am, course 10 am – 5:00 pm

Do you want to learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act? Are you already using the Act, but want to know more about how key provisions are being interpreted?

Making a FOI request is straightforward but making an effective request can be more difficult. Requests that ask for too much information can be refused – and some information may be exempt. But a well thought-out request can have a powerful impact, revealing that a policy isn’t working, an authority isn’t doing its job or generating key information for your research.

The course is designed to help campaigners, researchers, journalists and others make the most of the Act and the parallel Environmental Information Regulations. It explains the legislation, shows how to draft clear and effective requests and describes how to challenge unjustified refusals. The course’s interactive sessions will encourage you to test your own FOI drafting skills. The course is aimed at both beginners and those who are already using the Act but want to do so more effectively.
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Using the FOI Act, 24 October 2018

Photograph: Samuel Zeller

When: Wednesday 24 October 2018
Where: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: Registration 9:45 am, course 10 am – 5:00 pm

Do you want to learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act? Are you already using the Act, but want to know more about how key provisions are being interpreted?

Making a FOI request is straightforward but making an effective request can be more difficult. Requests that ask for too much information can be refused – and some information may be exempt. But a well thought-out request can have a powerful impact, revealing that a policy isn’t working, an authority isn’t doing its job or generating key information for your research.

The course is designed to help campaigners, researchers, journalists and others make the most of the Act and the parallel Environmental Information Regulations. It explains the legislation, shows how to draft clear and effective requests and describes how to challenge unjustified refusals. The course’s interactive sessions will encourage you to test your own FOI drafting skills. The course is aimed at both beginners and those who are already using the Act but want to do so more effectively.
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Scottish Public Information Forum 28 September 2018

The Campaign for Freedom of Information in Scotland organised a meeting of the Scottish Public Information Forum (SPIF) on 28th September 2018. The meeting was kindly hosted by Dundee Women’s Aid.

Minutes of the meeting are available here.

Please note the next meeting of the SPIF will be on 25th March 2019 from 1pm – 4.30pm and will be hosted by CVS Inverclyde, Inverclyde Community Hub, 75-81 Cathcart Street, Greenock, PA15 1DE.  Registration will be via Eventbrite so watch out here for more details.

A light lunch will be served from 1pm and the meeting will start at 1.30pm.  For more information about CVS Inverclyde go to https://www.cvsinverclyde.org.uk/

 

New report proposes extending NHS safety investigation secrecy

A new parliamentary report has been criticised by the Campaign for Freedom of Information and News Media Association for endorsing a proposal that will prevent a new NHS patient safety body from disclosing safety information under the Freedom of Information Act.

A draft government bill to establish the Health Service Investigations Body would also prevent it from disclosing information it holds in connection with any patient safety investigation. The parliamentary committee recommends extending this restriction to any information provided in order to promote patient safety, regardless of whether it relates to an investigation.
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Information Commissioner & Tribunal Decisions – what do they mean in practice

Photo: Freedom of Information Act 2000

Photo: Campaign for Freedom of Information

When: 22nd November 2018
Where: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: 1:00 – 4:30 pm

We are sorry but this course is fully booked. If there is sufficient interest we will repeat the course in December 2018. If you’d be interested in attending please email admin@cfoi.org.uk.

The Information Commissioner has issued over 11,500 decision notices under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations – while the Information Rights Tribunal has published over 1,800 decisions. A significant number of appeals to the Upper Tribunal and courts have also been decided. These complex decisions are essential materials for anyone trying to understand what public authorities must do to comply with the legislation.

This course, now in its 13th year, is aimed at experienced FOI practitioners and others with a good working knowledge of the legislation. It highlights the latest developments in the way the exemptions, public interest test and the legislation’s procedural requirements are being interpreted.
Read More