Freedom of Information - Public access to recorded information
Tuesday 23rd June 2020

For the booking form please click here

IRRV is pleased to advise of this important training event on Freedom of Information legislation and responsibilities, organised at the request of local authorities and taking place on Tuesday 23rd June 2020.

The course is aimed at front line staff, first line supervisors and managers including those who are working towards IRRV qualifications. The course focuses on the practical aspects of dealing with Freedom of Information requests using examples from the Scottish Information Commissioner Decisions. Delegates are encouraged to bring examples or queries to the workshop.

Freedom of Information, along with Data Protection and Complaints legislation, form the basis of oversight, challenge and transparency for the public over the actions of public bodies. The public are more aware of FOI law rising from 85% in 2017 to 91% in 2019 but the Scottish Information Commissioner notes an increase in the number of failure to respond in time and is seeking further enforcement powers.

The course will also cover the review of FOI legislation. This course will assist in understanding the importance of this legislation to their authority.


The workshop will cover :


  • An overview of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

  • An overview of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

  • The obligations of Local Authorities to make data available.

  • The procedure for dealing with requests and appeals.

  • Determining whether a fee is payable and how to calculate it.

  • Refusing requests or providing a partial response (Exemptions).

  • The meaning and application of terms used in apply exemptions.

  • A look forward to changes being considered in a review of the law


At the end of the course, delegates will have greater understanding of :


  • The statutory procedure for dealing with requests

  • How and when to refuse requests in full or in part

  • How to go about making decisions on public interest, substantial prejudice and whether a requests is vexatious.

  • Whether to provide copies of documents or information.

  • Dealing with cases involving Data Protection and Complaint Handling issues.

The course will be led by John Harding. John has over 30 years' experience administering benefits and Council Tax in Edinburgh. In that time he has acquired extensive practice in investigating, preparing and presenting appeals to Review Boards, Appeals Tribunals and the Valuation Appeal Committee as well as negotiating complaint outcomes with the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman. He has been presenting courses for the IRRV for the last 3 years and is a graduate member of the British Psychological Society with a MSc in Occupational Psychology.

The workshop represents excellent value for money, with seminar fees starting at only £165 + VAT. Every third place from the same organisation booked for this course (and made in the same booking) is entirely free of charge.