Campaign for FOI Workshop: Using the FOI Act


When: Tuesday 29 January 2019
Where: Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA
Time: Registration 9:45 am, course 10 am – 5:00 pm

Do you want to learn how to use the Freedom of Information Act? Are you already using the Act, but want to know more about how key provisions are being interpreted?

Making a FOI request is straightforward but making an effective request can be more difficult. Requests that ask for too much information can be refused – and some information may be exempt. But a well thought-out request can have a powerful impact, revealing that a policy isn’t working, an authority isn’t doing its job or generating key information for your research.

The course is designed to help campaigners, researchers, journalists and others make the most of the Act and the parallel Environmental Information Regulations. It explains the legislation, shows how to draft clear and effective requests and describes how to challenge unjustified refusals. The course’s interactive sessions will encourage you to test your own FOI drafting skills. The course is aimed at both beginners and those who are already using the Act but want to do so more effectively.

This course will explain:

  • What information you’re entitled to – and from whom
  • How to draft a clear and realistic request
  • How the Act’s public interest test works
  • Key pitfalls and how to avoid them
  • What authorities should do to help you
  • When requests can be refused on cost grounds
  • How to challenge refusals
  • Examples of disclosures that have made a difference

You will also have the opportunity to discuss problems you have encountered with your own requests.

The course will be presented by Maurice Frankel, who has worked for the Campaign since it was set up in 1984 and been its director since 1987, and Katherine Gundersen who has worked with the Campaign since 1999. The Campaign played the leading role in securing the FOI Act and improving it in Parliament.

Standard rate: £90
Unaffiliated individuals, freelance journalists, small NGOs with 4 staff or less: £45

Please note lunch is not provided but there are plenty of places to buy lunch nearby.

NOTE: Lawyers may claim non-accredited CPD hours for attending.

How to book:
Places can be booked online with a credit or debit card via the Free Word Centre website.  

You can also book by credit or debit card over the phone by calling the Free Word Box Office on 020 7324 2570. If you cannot pay by credit or debit card, please contact the Campaign for Freedom of Information and we can arrange for you to pay by invoice.