Management Development

Freedom of Information for Decision Makers is an intensive online course for people charged with making decisions in relation to applications for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, which was enacted on 14 October 2014.  Reference will also be made where appropriate to the repealed FOI legislation (1997 and 2003) and to Data Protection legislation and obligations under it regarding Personal Data.  

The purpose of this course is to bring participants through the different Parts (1-7) of the new Freedom of Information legislation and to explore with them the implications for their organisations. Emphasis will be placed throughout the day on the sections that are most relevant to attendees. By the end of the course, participants should feel more confident when dealing with an application for information under FOI Act 2014.

Freedom of Information for Decision Makers

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Key Facts

Delivery Method

Freedom of Information for Decision Makers has been modified for online delivery and will consist of 2 x 2.5 hour sessions on scheduled dates.  It will be delivered remotely via MS Teams and facilitated by a subject matter expert.

Scheduled Course Dates include:

  • 17 September 2020
  • 22 October 2020
  • 19 November 2020

Commences

17 September | 22 October | 19 November 2020 Bookings for this course close one week in advance of start date.

Key Facts

This programme can be delivered in-house for clients in a half-day or one-day Online Workshop format or face-to-face where the necessary COVID-19 related safety measures are in place. For details contact Maebh O’Connor – moconnor@ipa.ie

Duration

Five Hour Online Course

Fees & Enrolment

Fee: The cost of this  course is €375 per person.

Booking: Bookings must be received in writing using a booking form or the online booking option (see below).

All bookings will be confirmed via email.  Please send completed booking forms to:

Central Bookings Office
Institute of Public Administration
57-61 Lansdowne Road, Dublin D04 TC62
Tel: (01) 240 3666 | Fax: (01) 668 9135
Email: training@ipa.ie

All IPA courses are subject to minimum participant numbers.

Cancellation Policy: Please note, that in the event of a cancellation less than 48 working hours before the commencement of a course, a 15% cancellation fee will be charged.  Cancellation fee will also apply to non-arrivals on the day.

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The Programme

Freedom of Information for Decision Makers is an intensive online course for people charged with making decisions in relation to applications for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, which was enacted on 14 October 2014.  Reference will also be made where appropriate to the repealed FOI legislation (1997 and 2003) and to Data Protection legislation and obligations under it regarding Personal Data.  

The purpose of this course is to bring participants through the different Parts (1-7) of the new Freedom of Information legislation and to explore with them the implications for their organisations. Emphasis will be placed throughout the day on the sections that are most relevant to attendees. By the end of the course, participants should feel more confident when dealing with an application for information under FOI Act 2014.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the FOI for Decision Makers course participants will have the knowledge and understanding to respond to an FOI request (for either personal or non-personal information) of behalf of their organisation and in accordance with the legal obligations of FOI Act 2014.   

Course Content
Course Content (session one) will include all aspects of the administrative process including:
  • The role and function of FOI and how it contributes to openness and transparency;
  • The role and function of each of the FOI team e.g. FOI Decision Maker, FOI Officer, Internal Reviewer, Office of the Information Commissioner;
  • How we respond to an FOI request;  The process from receipt of request through to completion and the supports available throughout
  • What records can be requested (personal and non-personal)? 
  • What are the administrative grounds for refusal of requests?
  • What is the fee structure for non-personal information and how is it implemented?
  • What is the difference between informal and formal consultation?
  • What is the purpose of redaction (withholding details) and how/why do we do it?
  • What are the restrictions of the Act - Section 42?
  • The appeals mechanism for requesters dissatisfied with their response.
Course Content (session two) will focus on all aspects of the exemption process including:
  • What is the Public Interest Test? – How do we Interpret it?
  • What is the Harm/Injury Test? – How do we Interpret it?
  • What is the Class Test? – How do we Interpret it?
  • When is a record declared exempt? 
  • The exemptions (Section 28-41) - what is the purpose of each?
    • Meetings of Government
    • Deliberations of public bodies
    • Functions and negotiations of public bodies
    • Parliamentary, court and certain other matters
    • Law, enforcement and public safety
    • Information obtained in confidence
    • Commercially sensitive information
    • Personal information
    • Research and natural resources
    • Financial and economic interests of bodies

Note:- Only exemptions relevant to the attendees will be discussed and only the required clauses within those exemptions to ensure the learning is focussed and relevant to the needs of those attending.  

A handout of essential documents for reference on receipt of an FOI will also be provided. This will include a list of seminal OIC decisions and the key learning to be drawn from them.

Other Information

The Freedom of Information for Decision Makers course can also be delivered in-house for clients in an online workshop format or face-to-face with groups of participants where appropriate safety measures and social distancing arrangements have been put in place.

For further details of how this course can be delivered for your organisation, please contact Maébh O’Connor – moconnor@ipa.ie

Course Leader

This course will be delivered by Maebh O'Connor. Maebh has been involved in the design and delivery of FOI related workshops since the Act’s inception in 1997.

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