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ARCHIVED FOI Seminars

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

FOI Practitioners' Conference 2015

(2015-05-19)


Tuesday 19 May 2015
Dalhousie Building
University of Dundee

Programme

9:30                Registration and refreshments 

10:00 - 11:00 Opening Seminar: The relationship                           between FOI and Openness (Lecture Theatre 2)

Reflections on developments in openness from:

  • Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner
  • Kevin Dunion, Executive Director, Centre for FOI
  • Howard Davies, Standards Manager, The National Archives
  • Speaker from Open Data Strategy (to be confirmed)

Followed by audience discussion.

11:00 - 11:15 Refreshments 

11:15 - 12:45 Practical Seminars I 

12:45 - 13:30 Lunch 

13:30 - 15:00 Practical Seminars II

15:00 Conference close


PRACTICAL SEMINARS


A: What every FOI practitioner needs to know about re-use

An introduction to the forthcoming revised Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005, the main changes and implementation timetable.

By the end of this seminar you will be familiar with the new provisions (machine-readable formats, charging and copyright issues) and how these changes may impact on your handling of FOI requests and the advice to requesters who want to re-use your authority's information.

B: FOI requests from journalists

Are media FOI requests "lazy, time-wasting, vexatious fishing expeditions"? Or are they just asking the questions authorities least want to answer? What is it about FOI requests from journalists that gets your goat? We hear from two senior communications specialists about ways to manage requests and, in the process, build better relationships.

C: Ten things FOI requesters hate most?

That's the title of a recent article by FOI Man. Do we recognise the behaviours he thinks are "guaranteed to aggravate" requesters? Of course, it?s not all one way: what are the ten things authorities hate most about FOI requests?  

How can we reduce the aggravation factor?

A practical hands-on workshop to extract the answers from the people who have them (the conference delegates)!

D: Managing FOI requests A-Z

Experienced FOI practitioners walk us through managing FOI requests from start to finish, sharing some hard-learned lessons along the way. This seminar is suitable for all delegates, but particularly those who are just starting out or feel the need for some confidence-building. It's a great opportunity to ask all those questions you've never dared to air!

E: How to avoid an FOI crisis (and what you can do when it happens)

How can you make sure your authority is a strong FOI performer? Learn about FOI governance arrangements, making the connections with records management and customer service. How can you test your resilience? 

And what can you do when things go wrong? Hear about authorities that have managed crises and what they did to build their performance and reputation.

e-Documents:

Programme.docx
Seminars.docx
Booking_Form.doc

Centre for Freedom of Information European Conference

(2014-11-04)

We are pleased to announce that the Centre for Freedom of Information European Conference will take place in the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh on 4 November 2014, and invite you to register.

The conference will address the challenges for practitioners interpreting and implementing access to information laws which derive from European legislation, such as the Environmental Information Regulations and the revised Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive.

We have attracted speakers with a truly informed insight, as the attached conference programme shows.  Anya Proops recently acted for the UK Information Commissioner at the European Court of Justice on whether water companies in England are subject to the EC Directive on access to environmental information.  She will discuss the potential implications of the Court's ruling for any commercial body providing public services.  The broad definition of environmental information, will be discussed by Sue Wolf, co-author of Wolf and Stanley on Environmental Law.

The outsourcing of the public service delivery to trusts, charities and private contractors presents particular challenges when determining who must provide information.  Jeremy Wates, formerly Secretary to the Aarhus Convention, which underpins the environmental information directive and laws, will remind us of what was expected, whilst Professor Richard Kerley will outline the extent to which the nature of public services is changing.

Later in the day the issue of proactive disclosure and sharing of information will come under the spotlight.  From 2015 the revised Directive of Re-use of Public Sector Information will apply to museums, archives and libraries.  More generally the right to re-use public information for commercial as well as non-commercial purposes is being strengthened.  Carol Tullo of the National Archives, (which will deal with appeals against refusals to provide information requested) will set out what this means for public authorities in practice.

The value of sharing data derived from personal information, such as health records, has come under scrutiny in the UK recently.  Professor Sarah Cunningham-Burley will share the findings of her research into Public Acceptability of Data-Sharing between the Public and Private Sector,
which she conducted for the Scottish Government.

A special feature of this conference will be the presence of Information Commissioners from across Europe, several of whom will provide snapshot insights into how some of these issues are being addressed in their countries.

This is a truly unique event which should be of wide interest to those with responsibilities for freedom of information, data protection, legal advice, planning, libraries and archives, and information management.  It should also be of particular interest to those delivering or letting contracts for out-sourced public services.  Early booking is advised.

To register please click here to book on-line via our University e-store electronic payment system (preferred), or complete and return the registration form below.

If you have any queries please contact us at centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk

e-Documents:

Conference_Agenda.pdf
Booking_Form.doc

FOI Practitioners' Conference

(2014-05-21)


Wednesday 21 May 2014
Dalhousie Building
University of Dundee

Programme

9:00 Registration and refreshments

9:30 Opening seminar: FOI in a Changing World

11:00 Refreshments

11.25 Practical Seminars l (select from list below)

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Practical Seminars ll (select from list below)

15:30 Refreshments

15:50 Plenary, evaluation and future events

16:30 Conference close


Practical Seminars

Participants are invited to select two seminars to attend during the day. 

Practical Seminar A: Defining environmental information

In response to your feedback from last year's conference, this seminar will:
  • explain why the EIRs are different to FOISA
  • explore the definition of 'environmental information' through practical case studies
  • increase confidence in identifying requests that should be responded to under the EIRs
  • increase your familiarity with the resources available to help with requests for environmental information.

Practical Seminar B: Searching for information 

This seminar will:
  • Increase understanding of the relationship between FOI law and public records legislation.
  • Promote the value of a positive relationship between FOI officers and records managers
  • Provide practical advice about making searches effective in your own authority and about holding colleagues to account for the results they provide.

Participants will be encouraged to develop a search form for use by their own authorities.

Practical Seminar C: Managing complex and challenging requests

This seminar will:
  • Increase awareness of different approaches to managing requests
  • Provide practical tips to help you manage complex and challenging requests made to your own authority.

Practical Seminar D: Engaging your manager

This seminar will:

  • Explore the role of senior managers in meeting FOI responsibilities
  • Promote the importance and relevance of FOI performance management
  • Promote good practice in review handling
  • Provide practical tips for engaging your managers in the FOI function.

e-Documents:

Pres1_-_Kevin_Dunion.ppt
Pres2_-_Tabitha_Stringer.ppt
Pres3_-_Rosemary_Agnew.ppt
Defining_Environmental_Information.ppt
Managing_Complex_Requests.ppt
Engaging_Your_Manager.pdf
Searching_For_Information.ppt

Burdens or Benefits: New developments in

(2013-10-04)

The Centre for Freedom of Information and the Centre for Archives and Information Studies, are pleased to invite you to our joint conference which features for the first time at the same event contributions from the Christopher Graham, UK Information Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner and Tim Ellis, the new Chief Executive of the National Records of Scotland. They will address key issues emerging from changes in legislation affecting data protection, freedom of information and records management.  
 
Practical experience and case studies will deal with the challenge of compliance and what happens where things go wrong, with insights from practitioners such as Dr Andrew Russell, Medical Director, NHS Tayside and Susan Graham of Edinburgh University.
 
And how well does your organisation make use of  social media? Euan Semple  author of Organizations Don't Tweet, People Do: A Manager's Guide to the Social Web and inspirational speaker will give a keynote talk on how to successfully make social media part of your organisational culture.
 
This is an essential event for practitioners concerned with the changing regulatory and operational environments impacting on personal information and data protection; managing information and records, and complying with freedom of information requests. 
 
The full programme and booking form are available below.

Alternatively, you can click here to book online via our University E-store electronic payment system.

Registration should be made by 30 September.

e-Documents:

04102013-conference_opt.pdf
04102013-bookingform.pdf

Centre for FOI Freedom of Information Pr

(2013-06-27)

A full day event, packed with practical learning and networking opportunities for Scottish public authority staff who receive and respond to freedom of information requests. 

On the programme: 
  • Current developments, including changes to legislation 
  • Getting information requests right first time
  • Responding to challenging requests 
  • Publishing information proactively 
  • Balancing rights to information with privacy rights.
Speakers include: 
  • Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner
  • Sam Baker, Head of FOI Unit, Scottish Government
  • Kevin Dunion, Executive Director of the Centre for FOI
When: Thursday 27 June 2013, 09:00 - 16:30
Where: Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Dundee, DD1 4HB
Cost: 75 Pounds

Video presentations are now available from this conference.  They can be viewed here.

e-Documents:

Conference_Programme.pdf
Booking_form_27-07-13.pdf
Keynote_presentations.ppt
Responding_to_challenging_requests.ppt
Proactive_publication_seminar.ppt
Booking_form_21_May_2014.doc

FOI - TIME TO CHANGE?
IMPLICATIONS NO

(2012-05-30)

FOI ? TIME TO CHANGE?
IMPLICATIONS NORTH AND SOUTH OF THE BORDER

30th May 2012

Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
1.00 pm (buffet Lunch)
2.00 ? 4.00 pm (Refreshments to 4.30pm)

Speakers:
  • Professor Alan Page, Co-Director, Centre for Freedom of Information

    Welcome and general introduction from the Chair

  • Dr Ben Worthy, Research Associate, The Constitution Unit, University College London

    The impact of FOI in the UK 

  • Ibrahim Hasan, Director, Act Now Training

    The FOIA Review

  • Christine O?Neill, Partner, Brodies LLP

    What about Scotland?

  • Rosemary Agnew, Scottish Information Commissioner

    A word from the Commissioner

  • Round up and closing remarks

If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Friday 25th May 2012.

Alternatively, you can click here to book online via our University E-store electronic payment system.

e-Documents:

Programme_30_May_2012_full.pdf

Current Developments in FOI

(2012-02-21)

Speakers:

  • Professor Alan Page, Dean of the School of Law, Professor of Public Law and Centre Co-Director

    Welcome and general introduction from the Chair

  • Kevin Dunion, Scottish Information Commissioner?s valedictory lecture to the Centre, reflecting on the key themes of his Special Report to the Scottish Parliament

    Freedom of Information in Scotland: a position of strength, but scope for improvement?

  • Panel responses to the presentation. Panel includes:Karen Williams (Grampian Police and ACPOS),  Rosalind McInnes (Principal Solicitor, BBC Scotland)

  • Followed by audience discussion


If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Friday 17th February 2012.

Alternatively, you can click here to book online.

e-Documents:

Programme_21_Feb.pdf

Freedom of Information: FOI Appeal Route

(2011-10-19)

19th October 2011 

Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
1.00 pm (buffet Lunch)
2.00 ? 4.00 pm (Refreshments to 4.30pm)

Speakers:
  • Co-Director, Centre for Freedom of Information

    Welcome and general introduction from the Chair

  • Professor John Angel, Principal Judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Information Rights) 

    Appeals under the UK Act ? the view from the Tribunal
  • Christine O?Neill, Partner, Brodies LLP

    Reflections on the Scottish model
  • Rob Edwards, environment correspondent, Sunday Herald

    FOI Appeals: the requester?s perspective
  • Panel discussion followed by a round up and closing remarks

If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Wednesday 12th October 2011.

Alternatively, if you wish to book on-line, click here.

e-Documents:

Appeal_Routes_Programme_19_Oct_2011.pdf
JAngel_Appeal_process_England_Wales.pdf
ONeill_Peculiarly_Scot_Appeals_FOISA.pdf
REdwards_The_requesters_perspective.pdf

Current Developments in FoI

(2011-09-07)

Lecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
1.00 pm (buffet Lunch)
2.00 ? 4.00 pm (Refreshments to 4.30pm)

Speakers:
  • Professor Alan Page, Co-Director, Centre for Freedom of Information

    Welcome and general introduction from the Chair

  • Fiona Killen, Head of Parliamentary and Public Law Unit, Anderson Strathern

    Current developments in freedom of information
  • Hugh Hagan, Senior Public Records Officer, The National Records of Scotland

    The Public Records (Scotland) Act 2011 ? implications for FOI
  • Dr Will Dinan, Lecturer, and Kate Spence, PhD Student, University of Strathclyde

    Scottish Civil Society and FOI: licence, leverage and lessons

  • Panel discussion followed by round up and closing remarks
If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Wednesday 31st August 2011.

Alternatively, you can Click Here to book on line via our University E-Store electronic payment system.

e-Documents:

Hugh_Hagan.pdf
WWDinan.pdf
MKeyse.pdf
SHutchison.pdf
Programme_for_distribution.pdf

Dealing with Vexatious Requests (NEW!)

(2010-11-17)

Lecture Theatre 4, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
1.00 pm (buffet lunch)
2.00-4.00  pm (refreshments to 4.30pm)

Speakers:

Round up and closing remarks:

Chair, Kevin Dunion, Scottish Information Commissioner

If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to
centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Wednesday 10th November 2010.

e-Documents:

CFOI_full_programme_Nov_17.pdf
Eugene_Creally.pdf
VMalloch_Presentation.ppt
M_Frankel_presentation.pdf

New Developments in Freedom of Informati

(2010-10-21)

Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee
1.00 pm (buffet lunch)
2.00-4.05  pm (refreshments to 4.30pm)

Speakers:

Closing remarks:

Professor Alan Page, Co-Director, Centre for Freedom of Information and Dean, School of Law

If you would like to attend please download the booking form by clicking on the pdf below and email to centrefoi@dundee.ac.uk by Thursday 14th October 2010.

e-Documents:

DJagpal.ppt
Zoe_Woods.ppt

Freedom of Information: The USA Experien

(2010-03-24)

The Symposium Hall, Surgeon's Hall, The Royal College of Surgeons, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW
5.30 pm – 9.00 pm (drinks reception at 8pm) 


Speakers:

Keynote address:
Closing remarks:

Professor Alan Page, Co-Director, Centre for Freedom of Information and Dean, School of Law

e-Documents:

CFOI_Mar_2010_programme.pdf

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION and COMMERCIAL IN

(2010-02-11)

2-4 pm (optional lunch at 1pm and refreshments included at 4 pm)



Speakers:

Keynote address:

Panel discussion:

Dr Daniel Carr, Audrey Cameron, Fiona Killen, Helena Brown (Burness LLP), Professor Allyson Pollock 



e-Documents:

cfoi_programme_feb_2010_v1.pdf
ACameron_Feb_2010.ppt
Professor_Pollock_Feb_2010.ppt

POLICING, THE PUBLIC INTEREST AND FREEDO

(2009-11-26)

2-4 pm (optional lunch at 1pm and refreshments included at 4 pm)

Speakers:

Keynote address:


Panel discussion:
Professor Fiona Raitt, Kirsty McGowan, Chief Inspector Donald Thomson, Alastair Graham and David Goldberg

e-Documents:

Thomson_Sem_3.ppt
cfoi_programme_nov09.pdf
Dundee_Police_FoI_requests_Cyclists.pdf
Dundee_Police_FOI_Responses_Nov_09.pdf
Right_to_Know-Europe_and_the_Police.pdf

Environmental Information

(2009-10-29)

Dalhousie Building, University Campus
(optional lunch at 1pm and refreshments included at 4 pm)

Speakers:
    •    Dr Áine Ryall, University College Cork
    •    Professor Colin Reid, University of Dundee

Working with environmental information - Panel discussion
Professor Colin Reid, Dr Áine Ryall, Kevin Dunion, Emma Welsh and Guy Linley-Adams

e-Documents:

Colin_Reid_EIR.ppt
RyallFOI.pdf

Freedom of Information and Data Protecti

(2009-09-24)

Lectures by Christine O'Neill, Brodies LLP and David Banisar, Privacy International.

It is more than four years since the introduction of freedom of information legislation in Scotland. This seminar looks at the interaction of the right to access information in Scotland with the rights afforded by the UK-wide Data Protection Act 1998. What have we learned about the balance between these two laws?

e-Documents:

christine_oneill.ppt
david_banisar.ppt

Reflected glory? How does Scotland stand

(2009-06-05)

Lectures by Kevin Dunion, Scottish Information Commissioner and Natasa Pirc Musar, Slovenian Information Commissioner and discussion chaired by Rosalind McInnes, Principal Solicitor, BBC Scotland.

Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, 2-4pm.

e-Documents:

npmurc.ppt
reflected_glory.pdf

Freedom of information in the devolved S

(2009-03-27)

Lecture by Professor Alan Page and discussion chaired by Lord Rodger of Earlsferry.

Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, 2-4pm.

e-Documents:

foi_devolved_scotland_speech09.pdf

The Inaugural Seminar and launch of the

(2009-01-29)

Freedom of Information: Hope and Experience lecture by The Rt. Hon. Lord Wallace of Tankerness, QC.

e-Documents:

lordwallacesspeech.pdf