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International Commissioners Exchange Network

FOI Seminars

Here you can find out about forthcoming seminars at the Centre for Freedom of Information.

FOI Practitioners' Conference 2016


Wednesday 18 May 2016

Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee


9:30  Registration and refreshments 
10:00 - 10:30 Opening Session: News and Reflections from the Commissioner
  • The Commissioner will speak about what she sees as the main issues and opportunities for FOI practitioners
10:30 - 11:15 Proactive Publication: Results of the SIC's mystery shopper exercise
  • The announcement in February 2016 that the Commissioner's office was to use a mystery shopping approach to monitor the quality of authorities' Guides to Information caused a ripple in the FOI community. Proactive publication has long been promoted by the Commissioner as an effective way to manage FOI within an authority. Be the first to hear our findings and reflections about the experience from the company which carried out the mystery shopping exercise, Craigforth Ltd. 
  • A panel discussion to follow will consider: what we've learned, what the value of the exercise is, what do the findings mean, and what should happen next.
11:15 - 11:30 Refreshments 
11:30 - 13:00 Practical Seminars I (Select from list below)
13:00 - 13:45 Lunch 
13:45 - 15:15 Practical Seminars II (Select from list below)
15:15 Conference close 

A: If knowledge is power, knowledge shared is power multiplied?
  • Can working in FOI feel a bit isolating? Ever wish you could bounce ideas off other practitioners, or wondered how other sectors handle things? Join the Commissioner's office for the launch of a new FOI group on the knowledge sharing platform, Knowledge Hub.
  • Hear from the Programme Manager for Knowledge and Collaboration at The Improvement Service (which set up Knowledge Hub). Seize the opportunity to tell us how you would like us to use Knowledge Hub.
B: Lessons learned from decisions and practice 
  • As you will know, the Commissioner publishes a weekly Decisions Round-up. Hear what the most commonly encountered learning points are - they may not be what you think!
  • Experienced FOI practitioners will also speak about a recent review of FOI handling within their authority. Learn about how they conducted the review, what they discovered and how they are planning to make changes as a result.
C: What is the role of open data in proactive publication?
  • What is the role of the publication scheme in helping you to meet your FOI duty? What role can open data play? Why is it worth investing time in publication of information and open datasets when you constantly have requests waiting for you to respond to? This session will consider each of these points, reflecting on the panel discussion from the morning session, and will talk us through some of the barriers to proactive publication and how to overcome them.
D: It's nothing personal: knowing - and helping others within your authority know - when it's ok to disclose personal data
  • Whether you are relatively new to FOI or have been handling FOI requests for personal data for a long time, you will get something out of our quiz on disclosing personal data under the FOI Act. Of course, you will not be the only one in your authority who needs to be comfortable with these boundaries. An experienced FOI practitioner will share tips for how to increase understanding within your authority (especially for those who don't work with FOI on a daily basis) about what's ok to disclose and what's not.

To book a place at this conference, please use the following link

For car parking available nearby the University, please use the following link.