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The Freedom of Information Officer's Handbook
Freedom of information (FOI) is now an international phenomenon with over 100 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe enacting the right to know for their citizens. Since 2005, the UK's Freedom of Information Act has opened up thousands of public bodies to unparalleled scrutiny and prompted further moves to transparency.
Wherever the right to know is introduced, its success depends on the way it is implemented. In organisations worldwide, FOI only works because of those who oversee its operation on a day-to-day basis, promoting openness, processing requests and advising colleagues and the public. FOI is dependent on the FOI Officers.
The Freedom of Information Officer's Handbook is a comprehensive guide to FOI and its management. It is designed to be an indispensable tool for FOI Officers and their colleagues. It includes:
a guide to the UK's FOI Act, the right to know and the exemptions
clear analysis of the most important case law and its implications for the handling of FOI requests
pointers to the best resources to help FOI officers in their work
explanations of how FOI interacts with other legislation, including detailed explorations of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and how the EU's General Data Protection Regulation impacts on FOI
a look at requirements to proactively publish information and the effect of copyright and re-use laws on FOI and open data
comparisons of the UK's Act with FOI legislation in other jurisdictions from Scotland to South Africa
an exploration of the role of the FOI Officer: who they are, what they do, their career development and what makes them effective
suggestions on how to embed FOI within an organisation using effective procedures, technology and training
a stage-by-stage guide to processing requests for information.
The Freedom of Information Officers' Handbook includes the latest developments in FOI including amendments made to the UK's FOI Act by the Data Protection Act 2018 and the revised s.45 code of practice published by the Cabinet Office in July 2018.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
'The book is an absolute must read for staff new to FOI (and new to complex UK legislation) as they navigate their way through this new world and language. However, it is also a wonderful resource for more experienced staff to dip into as and when required. Every FOI Officer should have a copy on their desk.'- Lynn Wyeth, Head of Information Governance at Leicester City Council, Freedom of Information Journal * Freedom of Information Journal * 'Comprehensive, authoritative, definitive, exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Freedom of Information Officer's Handbook" is a complete and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and reference for anyone charged with FOI responsibilities and responses to requests. An essential and core addition to governmental information policy maker reference collections, "The Freedom of Information Officer's Handbook" is essential reading for all journalists and is unreservedly recommended for community, college, university collections.'- Able Greenspan, Midwest Book Review * Midwest Book Review *