News and Commentary from the Scottish Information Commissioner

Inform Update - 7 February 2012


Forthcoming Events - Spring 2012

Below we provide a brief update on some forthcoming events for your diary.  Click on the links for more information on attending any of these events. 

The next full edition of the Commissioner's Inform newsletter will be published later this month.


Centre for Freedom of Information Seminar - 21 February 2012

Centre for FOI Current Developments

The first event in the Centre for Freedom of Information's Spring 2012 seminar series will take place on Tuesday 21 February, 2012.   The seminar, 'Current Developments in FOI' will focus on the issues explored in Scottish Information Commissioner Kevin Dunion's Special Report to the Scottish Parliament, which was laid before the Parliament in January 2012. 

The seminar will see Kevin Dunion reflect on the themes of his special report, followed by an audience discussion exploring those themes, sharing perspectives and considering, in particular, where research might help find solutions.

The seminar will be chaired by Professor Alan Page, Dean of the School of Law and Centre Co-Director, while the issues raised will also be considered by a guest panel, including:

  • Karen Williams (Grampian Police and ACPOS)
  • Rosalind McInnes (Principal Solicitor, BBC Scotland)
  • Russell Frith (Assistant Auditor General, Audit Scotland)
  • James McGachie (DLA Piper)

The seminar will take place in the Scrymgeour Lecture Theater (4.01), Scrymgeour Building, Park Place, University of Dundee, from 3pm to 5pm on Tuesday 21 February.  (Attendees at previous Centre events should note the change of  venue).

Seminar attendees are also invited to attend a wine reception following the seminar to say farewell to Kevin Dunion as Commissioner, who will demit office on 23 February 2012. 

 For more information, or to book your place, visit


FOI Events for the Voluntary Sector

FOI workshops for inform

We are currently organising two FREE events for voluntary sector organisations, taking place in Glasgow and Edinburgh during March 2012.  Details are as follows:

Freedom of Information and Data Protection - Your Rights and Your Responsibilities
1 March 2012

The first of these events is being organised in partnership with the Information Commissioner's Office.  Focussing on both FOI and Data Protection, the event will aim to provide voluntary sector staff and volunteers with:

  • an overview of the rights provided by FOI to access the information held by public authorities, and examples of how these rights can be used by organisations to help gather information that can be used to support their pursuit of their objectives;
  • an insight into the responsibilities that voluntary sector organisations have under the Data Protection Act, in relation to the third party personal data that they hold.

This workshop will run as part of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisation's 2012 Gathering, at the SECC in Glasgow.  It will take place between 12 noon and 13:30 on 1 March 2012. The event will be free to all who wish to attend, but will be of particular interest to staff and volunteers from voluntary organisations or campaign groups.

For more information or to book a place, see details of the workshop on The Gathering 2012 website

Making Freedom of Information Work For You
7 March 2012

The second event comprises three FOI workshops taking place  in partnership with the Edinburgh Voluntary Organisations' Council (EVOC).  These workshops will focus solely on FOI, and are a continuation of our highly successful 'Making Freedom of Information Work For You' series of workshops for the voluntary sector.  

The workshops aim to provide:

  • an introduction to the "right to information" provided by FOI
  • temples of how FOI has been used by others within the voluntary sector to support research activity, campaigning, tendering or policy work
  • hints and tips on making effective requests
  • personal testimonies from users of FOI within the sector.

The workshop will run three times on Wednesday 7 March 2012: from 10am to 12noon; from 2pm to 4pm; and from 6pm to 7.30pm.  They will take place at the EVOC offices at 14 Ashley Place, Edinburgh EH6 5PX.   The sessions are free to attend, and are open to staff or volunteers from campaign or voluntary groups.

For further information or to book a place, see details of the workshop on the EVOC website.

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