Thursday 24 January 9.30am to 4pm and
Friday 25 January 9.30am to 12.30pm
Freedom of Information (FOI) is now an established and fully-accepted feature of all Government departments and offices and many public or publicly-funded bodies in Ireland (now known as “FOI bodies”). The Freedom of Information Act 2014 establishes the following statutory rights for the public:
- The right to be granted access to records held by FOI bodies, subject to exemptions and exclusions set out in the Act
- The right to apply to FOI bodies for the amendment of personal information in records held by them, on the grounds that it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, and
- A general right to apply to FOI bodies for, and obtain, reasons and underlying material fact-finding in respect of administrative decisions or “acts”, subject to certain conditions.
In addition, the Act obliges FOI bodies to publish information about themselves, the information they hold, and the internal guidelines and precedents they use in decision-making, as well as proactively publishing information of relevance or interest to the public which would routinely be accessible by way of FOI request. The Act further obliges FOI bodies to familiarise themselves with, and have regard to, the Code of Practice for FOI which has been drawn up by the Minister for Public Enterprise and Reform.
This course provides an introduction to, and grounding in, the main aspects of the legislation as well as the grounds for non-disclosure. As well as sharing an FOI body practitioner’s experience, it will include a case study in how to apply the Act in a practical context, and take a look at the role of the Information Commissioner and the courts on appeal. It is designed to be a practical and focused course for any public servant involved in the provision of information to the public.