Zoom webinar – Data Protection and FOI/EIR requests – coming out of lockdown – Your Questions Answered

09 Sep 2020, 3:22 pm


Damien Welfare, Estelle Dehon, Isabella Buono, Rowan Clapp





This webinar is designed for local authorities, or other public bodies, which may face a backlog of subject access or FOI/EIR requests, as the lockdown begins to ease.

Since April, the Information Commissioner has been taking an ’empathetic and pragmatic’ approach to enforcement; although individuals’ information rights have remained in place. But now the Commissioner’s Office have announced on their FOI Blog that, while they have maintained that approach, they “also want to see public authorities putting clear plans in place to get back on track with their freedom of information work”. They have also published a toolkit to help authorities to assess their performance.

This webinar therefore looks ahead, to the time when the regulatory environment returns to normal, and requesters are likely to expect their outstanding requests to be answered quickly.

  • Our panel of specialist barristers will respond to questions such as:
  • What exemptions/exceptions may apply to a given type of case, and what are their main features ?
  • How should we handle the duty to advise and assist, coming out of lockdown?
  • How much scope might there be to handle some requests as ‘Business as Usual’, to ease the FOI/EIR backlog?
  • How should we approach searches in response to requests, with Covid-related restrictions in place? Or with some staff still working from home?
  • The ICO advised that we should record our FOI decision-making, so that information was available after the emergency. What is now required?
  • How should we approach presenting the information to be disclosed?

The session is aimed at Data Protection Officers, FOI/EIR Officers, or lawyers in local authorities or other public-sector bodies who deal with information law matters.

SLIDES – Click here to download a copy of the slides used in this webinar

Recording: You will note there is an issue with the sound around the 55 minute mark – please click HERE for a note on that section of the video.