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Supporting Education and Research It’s another letter from that journalist; shall I just throw it away? - Are you ready for the Freedom of Information.

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Presentation on theme: "Supporting Education and Research It’s another letter from that journalist; shall I just throw it away? - Are you ready for the Freedom of Information."— Presentation transcript:

1 Supporting Education and Research It’s another letter from that journalist; shall I just throw it away? - Are you ready for the Freedom of Information Act? Steve Bailey Records Manager JISC

2 Supporting Education and Research FOIA Overview From January 2005 anyone, anywhere has the right to: –Be told whether the information they require exists within your institution –To receive that information… –…unless one of 23 specific exemptions applies 20 working days to respond to such requests The Act is fully retrospective!

3 Supporting Education and Research Lets not bother More government bureaucracy Taking money away from teaching Don’t have the staff to devote to it It will all be a damp squib, just like the Data Protection Act We’re not high profile We have an MIS system in place We’ve nothing to hide… Its too late now anyway

4 Supporting Education and Research THINK AGAIN! Time to reconsider

5 Supporting Education and Research How much did the Principal spend on expenses last year? I’d like a full copy of the minutes of last month’s College Council meeting I’d like a copy of your current contract with your IT supplier I’d like to see everything connected with the merger with Blogshire College in 1978 I’d like to come in to see the plans for the proposed new campus rumoured to be near my house How much have you spent on library books each year for the past decade? How many Asian students have achieved A-C grade GCSE’s in the last five years Please send me a copy of your course brochure

6 Supporting Education and Research Each poses a different challenge Do you have to answer it? If so, which bits might you be able to withhold? Are your suppliers aware that you might have to disclose this info? Do you know where the information is? Can you guarantee you can answer it within 20 working days? Who might receive the enquiry and will they know how to respond? Can you justify why you have destroyed some information? Who’s going to co-ordinate all of this?

7 Supporting Education and Research Who might use the Act? Journalists Local residents (prospective) students Parents Commercial suppliers Competitors Staff (current and former) Those with an axe to grind

8 Supporting Education and Research But its not all bad news

9 Supporting Education and Research Reasons to be cheerful Traditional openness of the sector We have nothing to hide FOI as an opportunity –Sell yourself and what you do –Streamline areas of your administration –Benefits to your staff Your not alone Help is out there

10 Supporting Education and Research Don’t let the following be a scene from your College come January


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