November 26th 2019 | COSLA Conference Centre

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Masterclasses & Interactive Sessions

Delegates will have the choice of which three 30-minute workshops to attend (two before lunch and one after). In advance of the event, you will register for your preferred sessions to ensure these align with the key issues you want answers to. Two of the masterclasses are “solutions rooms”, which are more practical, participative opportunities for smaller groups to reflect on key challenges and work together to resolve them. 

Delegates will receive an email on the 26th of October to select their three masterclasses

Masterclass A | New to FOI? An ABC of FOI

With the new designation of over 150 Registered Social Landlords and their subsidiaries in the last month, and other changes, the scope of FOI in Scotland has increased significantly In the media and the general public as well as within authorities, there will always be people who are new to FOI or those who simply need a refresher. The purpose of this workshop is to remind you of the important stuff and to share tips to help you fulfil your rights and obligations.

Session lead by Paul Mutch, Freedom of Information Officer, SIC                                  

Format - Interactive presentation & exercise


Masterclass B | Common problems of an FOI Officer

The FOI Officer is crucial to ensuring an authority’s transparency and openness. In this masterclass, you will hear from the two speakers about the common problems of an FOI Officer, and discuss some of the ways of overcoming these. There will also be an opportunity to share your experiences and get peer-to-peer advice.​

Session lead by  Joe Chapman, Freedom of Information Officer, SIC                   

Format - Interactive presentation & exercise


Masterclass C | Solutions Room: Responding Promptly 

In 2017/18, the most common subject of appeals to the Scottish Information Commissioner was compliance with timescales. Every missed deadline denies requesters their statutory rights. But why is meeting this requirement so difficult for some authorities? What is the impact of late responses on requesters? In this masterclass, we explore some of the hurdles to responding promptly, and the effects this can have​

Session lead by  Lorraine Currie, Freedom of Information Officer, SIC                         

Format - Delegates will be asked to work in groups to solve two different challenges.


Masterclass D | Solutions Room: The Power of Proactive Publication

FOI law requires authorities to publish information proactively as well as respond to requests. An authority that fulfils its publication scheme duty is one that embeds proactive publication in systems, in practice and in culture, right from the point of creation of the information. So, how does this work in practice, and how can it benefit the public and reduce the need for requests?

Session lead by Eva Groeneveld, Freedom of Information Officer, SIC                   

Format - Delegates will be asked to work in groups to solve two different challenges.