Lesson 1: Overview
- FOIA is designed to encourage a culture of openness and transparency in government and the public sector.
- Openness and transparency help to increase public trust in government, benefiting both the general public and the PAs.
- FOIA is overseen by the ICO.
- PAs are obliged to release information requested unless there is a good reason not to, and all requesters must be treated equally.
Lesson 2: Information requests
- PAs must handle FOI requests neutrally and in a timely fashion.
- While the spirit of FOIA is to promote openness and transparency, there are a number of acceptable reasons for a request to be denied.
- The ICO can intervene in cases of dispute between requester and PA. Both parties have the right to appeal decisions made by the ICO.
Lesson 3: Publication schemes
- FOIA encourages PAs to proactively and routinely publish information.
- PAs should follow the ICOs publication scheme and definition documents to ensure compliance.
- Information not available through the PAs publication scheme should be requested via a FOI request.
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