Packed with advice and tips from someone who has been dealing with (and making) FOI requests since the legislation came into force, these courses are the essential guide to handling FOI requests.
FOI Friday courses are £80+ VAT per course, or £140 + VAT if you book the two together (select the right option for a multiple course payment).
Vexatious course is £60 + VAT.
EIR course is £80 + VAT.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Your booking is for one person, and you agree when you book that only one person will view the course. Discounts are available if you want more people to attend; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You can cancel your attendance up to one week before the course; after that, no refunds are available. You will get access to a recorded version of the course if you cannot attend on the day.
If you book using a Gmail or other generic email address, you will be required to pay within 48 hours of booking or your place will be cancelled.
Dealing with vexatious FOI / EIR requests (1 hr)
10.00am, December 2nd 2020
One of the hardest tasks for anyone dealing with FOI or EIR requests is knowing when it is reasonable to refuse a request as vexatious or unreasonable. An applicant may be determined, annoyed or even hostile, but that does not mean that their request is vexatious. Taking away someone’s ability to use FOI or EIR is a serious business, and this practical, plain-English course contains multiple examples of when it’s acceptable to refuse a vexatious request, and when it’s right to bite the bullet and give the person the information. Based on 15 years of experience working with FOI and a decade of receiving angry emails from notorious FOI applicants, if you deal with FOI or EIR requests, you need to attend this course.
Most people in the public sector have encountered an FOI request, but nearly 15 years after they came into force, many aren’t as familiar with the Environmental Information Regulations. The funny thing is, depending on where you work, you might get more EIR requests than FOIs. Pollution, contamination, water quality and other obvious environmental issues are covered by the EIRs, but so are noise complaints, parking issues and even graffiti. Delve into the weird and wonderful world of EIR, and find out how they work, how they differ from FOI, and what to do when an EIR request lands in your inbox.
Please note that dealing with all exemptions in one session is an ambitious, some might say foolhardy enterprise. As a result, the PM session runs between 2 and 2.5 hours.
FOI Basics – processing requests (2 hrs)
9.30am, 8th January 2021
This practical, plain-English course will cover everything you need to know about dealing with an FOI request – what happens if the person uses a fake name? When is it fair to ask for clarification? What is reasonable in terms of searching time, and when can an organisation reasonably refuse because a request will take too long?
Most FOI requests will seek information that can be disclosed, but some will ask for disclosures that cause risk. This practical, no-nonsense course will tell you how the exemptions work and when it is reasonable to refuse a request. What is the public interest, and how do you identify whose interests are really in play? When is it acceptable to withhold commercially sensitive data, and what is the overlap with confidentiality? How do you protect internal decisions, especially around decisions that haven’t been made yet? And when do you have to identify individuals?