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Our popular FOI and Data Protection webinar series for practitioners across the public sector is back. More expert panellists, more insights and more practical, implementable advice on the FOI and DP topics chosen by you. Never miss out on future events. Follow @eCase4Gov on Twitter.

New report

Request your copy of "The State of FOI in Local Government" here.

Missed a webinar? Watch the recordings

Managing Vexatious Requests

Thursday 18th November, 12.00pm-1.00pm

In this session, our chair, Lynn Wyeth, Head of Information Governance and DPO and Leicester City Council is joined by expert practitioners Paul Mutch from the Scottish Information Commissioner and Sarah Laws of London Borough of Camden. Together they provide clarity on the type of cases that are vexatious and provide recommendations on when, where and how to use this exemption.

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View Recordings from our September FOI Quarterly series

The DPR Clinic

Wednesday 3rd November, 12.00pm-1.00pm

In our first clinic session, our expert practitioners Lynn Wyeth, Scott Sammons and Sarah Laws will look to tackle some of the common tricky issues around managing Data Protection Requests - from identification to correct handling of exemptions.

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Requester Blind - Principle and Practice

Tuesday 14th September, 11am - Midday

Using examples from real-world cases they’ve worked on, our expert panel will look at the Requester Blind principle and how to interpret and apply it. This will include when and why it’s important to take account history into account, managing vexatious requests with Requester Blind in mind, and the crossover with Data protection.

The session will be chaired by Lynn Wyeth, Head of Information Governance and DPO at Leicester City Council. Lynn will be joined by Sarah Laws, Information Rights Team Leader at London Borough of Camden and Lauri Almond, Information Governance Manager at Essex County Council.

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Remodelling Request Management - North Lincolnshire Council's route to success

Charlotte Spencer, Senior Information Governance Officer at North Lincolnshire Council discusses how their Information Governance team, transformed their request management performance massively improving their compliance to over 90% in under 6 months whilst saving time, adding value and simplifying processes.

In the session, Charlotte will share the issues and challenges they faced, how they overcame them and how, with the support of the eCase team, they were able to manage the transition and deliver meaningful results.

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Managing EIRs

Using examples from real-world cases, our expert panel will examine what Environmental Information is, how to recognise EIRs, handling mixed requests, the complexities encountered with managing EIRs and how to tackle them.

The session will be chaired by Lynn Wyeth, Head of Information Governance and DPO at Leicester City Council and include Andrew White, Head of FOI Casework and Appeals at the Information Commissioner's Office and Matt Lewin, Barrister at Cornerstone Barristers.

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Manifestly Unfounded / Manifestly Excessive

Tuesday 5th October, Midday - 1pm

With real-life case examples, our expert panel will examine what Manifestly Unfounded / Manifestly excessive means for DPRs, how and when to apply the exemption and how it has been successfully and unsuccessfully applied previously,

The session will be chaired by eCase's Richard Clarke and include expert panellists from the Information Commissioner's Office, Cornerstone Barristers and the Department for Work and Pensions.

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The State of FOI in Local Government

Thursday 14th October, Midday - 12:30pm

Following eCase's exclusive research report on the state of FOI in local government, inspired by Lynn Wyeth's doctoral research, we will examine the findings, the hallmarks of success and how to get there.

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Check back regularly for more updates.

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Meet the panellists

Lynn Wyeth

Lynn Wyeth

Lynn Wyeth is the Head of the Information Governance function and the Data Protection Officer of a large unitary public authority and has over 15 years' experience as a Freedom of Information practitioner. She holds a post graduate diploma in Information Rights and the CISMP certificate, the Data Protection BCS ISEB and the Freedom of Information BCS ISEB, and is an accredited HSCIPP privacy practitioner. Lynn’s current team won the Information and Records Management Society Team of the Year award in 2018.

Lynn is the author of 2 books, A Practical Guide to Handling Freedom of Information Requests, and Data Protection: Compliance in Practice. She has contributed a chapter to the book 'Freedom Fighters or Lazy Journalism: Critical reflections on freedom of information' edited by John Mair and Tom Felle.

Lynn is a Chair and regular speaker at national conferences on information governance matters, as well as running training for several IG training companies as well as her own company.

Lynn advised the Government of Jersey on the implementation of FOI legislation on the island. She also sits on the examination board of PDP’s FOI journal and is currently undertaking a PhD on Freedom of Information at De Montfort University, Leicester.

Read Lynn's Guest blog

Scott Sammons

Scott is an experienced and qualified Practitioner & Trainer in the management and governance of information and data having worked and volunteered for 12+ years in the profession. Starting his career in Local Government, Scott has since worked across both the private and public sectors (both large and small in size) and gained experience, knowledge and/or qualifications working with information governance frameworks applicable in UK, Ireland, Isle of Man and wider a European context. From 2016-2020 Scott was Chair of the Information and Records Management Society (IRMS) and now volunteers as their lead on professional accreditation.

Now freelance, and as a licenced Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Scott trains, mentors and works with a range of organisations and professionals on how they can improve how they handle data, information and records. From skills and assistance in setting an organisational level strategy right the way through to learning practical everyday data handling and data protection skills to support personal professional development.

Sarah Laws

Sarah Laws is the Information Rights Team Leader at London Borough of Camden, where she is the professional lead for all things data protection and Freedom of Information. Sarah started working in information management in 2012, having previously worked as a local government lawyer for 10 years and found herself strangely drawn to the wonderful world of FOI and Data Protection rather than spending hours in dusty court waiting rooms. She was nominated for Information Governance Professional of the Year in 2020, was a member of the DPO panel at the PDP Data Protection Conference in 2019, and is a member of the ICO working group on FOI, recently inputting on their section 12 toolkit. As part of Information Governance for London’s data sharing group, Sarah is leading on several data sharing agreements between the Met Police and all London councils.

Camden’s Information Rights Team’s requester focussed approach to handling requests, and their innovative way of handling simple requests, led to them being awarded Information Governance Team of the Year in the SIGN awards in 2019. The team are currently working to improve their current 99.1% FOI/EIR performance.

Paul Mutch

Paul is a Policy and Information Officer with the Scottish information Commissioner. The Policy and Information Team has a wide range of responsibilities, working to promote FOI rights and good practice to a range of stakeholders, including the public, public authorities, elected representatives the third sector and the media. Paul recently led on work to support Scottish housing associations as they prepared for FOI designation, and he is currently working on the Commissioner’s intervention to help improve the FOI performance of the Scottish Government. Paul has been working at the Commissioner’s office since 2003.

Andrew White

Andrew has been with the ICO for over fifteen years, all of which have been spent working with FOI. As the Head of FOI Casework and Appeals for the last eighteen months, Andrew oversees the management of around 6,000 FOI & EIR cases a year and is also responsible for the FOI policy team.

Prior to this role, Andrew was the sectoral leader for the Local Government team and developed links with a range of councils across the country to identify and address some of the systemic information rights issues that manifested themselves through the casework undertaken.

As an advocate of a pragmatic style of regulation, Andrew has been keen to encourage public authorities to engage with the ICO as problems are identified, particularly given the difficulties we have all faced over the last year and a half. To that end, a regulatory strategy was implemented that outlined the intention to be pragmatic and proportionate during the restrictions imposed during the pandemic, resulting in dialogues across the public sector that enabled balanced outcomes to be achieved wherever possible.

Ruchi Parekh

Ruchi Parekh

Ruchi has a broad public law practice with particular expertise in planning and environment, information, local government and election law.

She also has experience in a range of related areas including licensing, housing, property, education and commercial law.

Ruchi is regularly instructed by public bodies, including central and local government, private organisations, developers and individuals.

Access reports and watch recordings of our previous FOI, Data Protection and Best Practice webinars

How has COVID-19 affected Information Rights in the Public Sector?

Discover the impact, lessons learned, and how the sector can move forward in our free research report.

Get your copy

Dealing with Complex SARs - Practical tips for better management

Complex SARs, by their very nature, are difficult and time consuming to deal with. The considerations that need to be made for this type of SAR are also, often, far reaching. This webinar looks at the common types of complex SARs, the issues encountered when dealing with them and the practical steps that you can take to mitigate these issues and improve processing and management.

Lynn Wyeth, Barry Moult and Estelle Dehon lend their knowledge, experience and advice on how to handle these requests better.

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A Recipe for Success in FOI

What are the essential elements needed for success? What are the problems and what are the common stumbling blocks faced by FOI teams? These are just some of the questions that Lynn Wyeth, Head of Information Governance and DPO at Leicester City Council, asked in her extensive study of Local Government in England as part of her PhD thesis.

Through her work Lynn identified not just the elements, but also the practices that set FOI teams up for success - findings that will resonate for FOI teams across the public sector. Lynn shares her findings and identifies what FOI teams need to put in place to ensure timely, efficient and successful request management.

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Transparency - the key to democracy

Bill Goodwin, Investigations Editor at Computer Weekly, gives a journalist's view of FOI and why it is such an important tool for holding Governments to account. Bill details cases that have been involved in challenges to the FOI Act itself and those that reinforced the importance of FOI as a force for good.

He will also discuss the challenges faced by journalists when making an FOI request and why upholding the right to know is pivotal to our democracy.

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Learnings and Successes - UKRI's IG Transformation Journey

When UKRI were formed, bringing together seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England, they had the challenge of merging the practises and processes and sometimes the tools of nine different Information Governance teams into one cohesive way of working. Join David Hyett, Head of Information Governance at UKRI as he shares UKRI’s IG transformation experience and what the learnt along the way: from merging nine different organisations, to harnessing the right tools, identifying and delivering process improvements, dealing with the challenges he and his team faced and how they delivered a successful outcome.

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Best Practice for Information Rights

Customer Success Manager and Best Practice expert Lucie Fabbro shares best practice tips for that can help your team improve efficiency and performance even if you aren't an eCase user.

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Is FOI an endangered species?

With FOI response rates at their lowest levels since the Act came into force, the emergence of ‘the Clearing House’ and January's Tribunal concerning territorial limitations, concern for the Act and transparency has grown.

But what is the true state of FOI in 2021? Hear from FOI experts Estelle Dehon, Jon Baines, Maurice Frankel OBE and William Goodwin in our panel session, and decide for yourself.

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The Evolution of Data Protection

The events of the last year have presented new challenges for all of us. Our relationship with data, our need for it and how we use it has changed. This has brought Data Protection further into the spotlight with new approaches requiring DPOs to answer new questions in ways they couldn’t have envisaged a year ago. But what have the key challenges been? What are the effects and what lies ahead?

Get the perspectives of Data Protection experts Jon Baines, Barry Moult and David Hyett in our webinar panel session discussing these issues and how to combat them..

Watch the recording

Read our Guest Blogs on FOI

Requester Blind - Principles and practicalities

Lynn Wyeth discusses the Requester blind principle and some of the issues and nuances that often make it trickier to deliver the right response than it might seem at first.

Read Lynn's Requester Blind Blog

A Recipe for Success in FOI

Lynn Wyeth shares the results of her extensive research on FOI in Local Government and the key components required to ensure successful FOI management

Read Lynn's Blog

Learnings and Successes

David Hyett discusses UKRI's transformation of FOI and SAR processes, what they learned along the way and the benefits.

Read David's Guest Blog

Transparency and Democracy

Bill Goodwin takes a look at some of the challenges the FOI Act is facing. Looking through the lens of the 'requester blind' principle, he discusses why these principles are so important to maintaining transparency, surfacing important truths and, in turn, democracy itself.

Read Bill's Guest Blog

Where is FOI Going?

Jon Baines explores the fall in FOI response rates, how the act is currently regulated, and what this could mean for the future.

Read Jon's Guest Blog

Questioning the Fundamentals of FOIA

In her two part blog series, Estelle Dehon of Cornerstone Barristers discusses 'requester blindness', part of the bedrock of the FOIA, what the implications of the 'Territoriality' question could have meant for public authorities, the appeals and issues raised in the Tribunal and what the decision on 27th January 2021 means for FOI and its preservation.

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