Managing Public Rights to Information (Freedom of Information)

Cathedral Consulting has been providing consultancy and training on freedom of information issues since 2003 (prior to full implementation of the Act) and has worked with a wide range of central and local government authorities to implement and refine their FOI procedures, as experience grows and precedents develop.  In addition to general advice on FOI we have also provided more specialist training and guidance on FOI and its implications in relation to areas such as procurement, contracts management, legal proceedings and records management.

Our training and consultancy work on freedom of information issues has covered the following:

  • FOI versus ‘business as usual’
  • Legal requirements regarding the handling of FOI requests
  • Interface between FOI and other laws
  • Logging and tracking FOI requests
  • Records management issues in an FOI context
  • Procurement and contractor management issues in an FOI context
  • Initial assessment of FOI requests and planning a response
  • Appropriate use of different exemptions
  • Public interest test
  • Publication schemes
  • Proactive publication of information
  • Handling requests to multiple authorities
  • Consultation with third parties
  • Handling appeals
  • Approaches to regulating and reducing the scope and volume of FOI requests

Public authorities with whom we have worked on FOI issues have included the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Revenue & Customs Prosecutions Office, General Medical Council, Debt Management Office, Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, British Library, National Audit Office and local authorities in Wakefield, Medway, Maidstone, Swale, Slough, Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, Canterbury, Gravesham, Ashford, Royal Borough of Kingston, Thanet and Southampton.

We offer a selection of ready-to-go courses on freedom of information.  Contact us for more information about the course options available.