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Annie Hayes



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Are you ready for the Freedom of Information Act 2000?


The Freedom of Information Act 2000 will be implemented on 1 January 2005 requiring all public bodies and associated organisations to comply with requests for information. The legislation is designed to promote openness and transparency and will give the public a general right of access to information.

Public authorities, including central government, local authorities, NHS, schools, colleges, the police and the Equal Opportunities Commission, to name a few, will be required to produce a publication scheme approved by the Information Commission.

The publication scheme should be divided into the different classifications of information available, which may include funding sources, policies, annual reports and inspection reports. The scheme will need to state how the information will be provided eg downloadable from a website, as a document via email, post or fax, on video or audio tape and the charge applicable where relevant.

Organisations need to respond to a request for information within 20 working days. They need to provide assistance with access where this is required and to have the fee paid within 3 months before providing a copy or summary of the information required or an opportunity to inspect the required records.

There are about 23 exemptions from disclosure which can include reasons of national security, damage to international relations, commercial sensitivity and confidentiality.

To find out more about this legislation contact Sandra Beale of SJ Beale HR Consult on T: 07762 771290 or email [email protected] There is a workshop on the subject on Friday 3 December in Northampton – phone for more details.

Disclaimer – this information is for guidance purposes only and is no substitute for professional legal advice. SJ Beale HR Consult accepts no liability for any actions taken linked to this information.

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Annie Hayes


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