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Administrative Law Introduction
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FOI Act 2014 - Update
Freedom of Information for Decision Makers
Freedom of Information for Internal Reviewers
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Principles of Data Protection

Freedom of Information for Decision Makers

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Freedom of Information (FOI) for Decision Makers is an intensive one-day course for people charged with making decisions in relation to applications for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, which was enacted on 14 October 2014.  Reference will also be made where appropriate to the repealed FOI legislation (1997 and 2003) and to Data Protection legislation and obligations under it regarding Personal Data.

The purpose of this course is to bring participants through the different Parts (1-7) of the new legislation and to explore with them the implications for their organisations. Emphasis will be placed throughout the day on the sections that are most relevant to attendees. By the end of the course, participants should feel more confident when dealing with an application for information under FOI Act 2014. The course outline is described below.

  • Understanding FOI Act 2014
  • Key differences in its application
  • Handling requests for information
  • What records can be requested
  • Processing Applications
  • Grounds for refusal of requests
  • Making a decision and statements of reasons
  • The revised fees regime and how it is to be implemented
  • Release of information
  • Understanding the Public Interest
  • Understanding the HARM test
  • Understanding the difference between informal and formal consultation - when/why to use it

Detailed Examination of Exemptions

  • Section 28 - Meetings of Government
  • Section 29 - Deliberations of Public Bodies
  • Section 30 - Functions and Negotiations of Public Bodies
  • Section 31 - Parliamentary, Court and certain other matters
  • Section 32 - Law, Enforcement and Public Safety
  • Section 33 - Security defence and International Relations
  • Section 34 - Decisions persuant to Sections 32 and 33
  • Section 35 - Information obtained in confidence
  • Section 36 - Commercially Sensitive Information
  • Section 37 - Personal Information and the link with Data Protection legislation
  • Section 38 - Procedure for consuting with third parties (formerly Section 29 consultation)
  • Section 39 - Research and natural resources
  • Section 40 - Financial and Economic interests of Bodies
  • Section 41 - Enactments relating to non-disclosure of records

Other Relevant Sections for Decision Makers

  • Section 9  - Amendment of Personal Information
  • Section 10 - Reasons for decisions
  • Section 19 - Decisions deemed to have been made - failue to reply/refusal to engage
  • Section 42 - Restrictions of the Act 
  • Section 49 - Immunity from legal proceedings
  • FOI Code of Practice and its purpose
  • Decisions of the Information Commissioner
  • Questions and Answers

Dates, Venue and Fee

Dates: 27 February 2017 | 13 March 2017 (One Day).

Venue: Institute of Public Administration

Fee: The cost of this one day course is €450 for Corporate Members of the Institute, €480 for others. Fee includes course material, lunch and refreshments each day.

Tailored Programme

This course can be tailored for in-house delivery. Please email if you would like further information about customised training.

Bookings / Enquiries

All IPA courses are subject to minimum participant numbers and bookings will typically close one week prior to the course start date.

Central Bookings Office
Institute of Public Administration | 57-61 Lansdowne Road, Dublin D04 TC62
Tel: (01) 240 3666 | Fax: (01) 668 9135 | Email:

Apply Now (application form)

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57-61 Lansdowne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4 | Tel: +353 1 240 3600 | Fax: +353 1 668 9135 | Registration no: 21087