A handbook for Freedom of Information officers and their colleagues

For Immediate Release
Mon, 04/08/2019


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association



CHICAGO — Freedom of information (FOI) is now an international phenomenon with over 100 countries from Albania to Zimbabwe enacting the right to know for their citizens. Since 2005, the UK’s Freedom of Information Act has opened up thousands of public bodies to unparalleled scrutiny and prompted further moves to transparency. “The Freedom of Information Officer's Handbook,” published by Facet Publishing and available through the ALA Store, is a comprehensive guide to FOI and its management. Written by Paul Gibbons, this indispensable tool for FOI Officers and their colleagues includes:

  • a guide to the UK’s FOI Act, the right to know and the exemptions;
  • clear analysis of the most important case law and its implications for the handling of FOI requests;
  • pointers to the best resources to help FOI officers in their work;
  • explanations of how FOI interacts with other legislation, including detailed explorations of the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and how the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) impacts on FOI;
  • a look at requirements to proactively publish information and the effect of copyright and re-use laws on FOI and open data;
  • comparisons of the UK’s Act with FOI legislation in other jurisdictions from Scotland to South Africa;
  • an exploration of the role of the FOI Officer: who they are, what they do, their career development and what makes them effective;
  • suggestions on how to embed FOI within an organization using effective procedures, technology and training; and
  • a stage-by-stage guide to processing requests for information.

Gibbons is an independent consultant and trainer specializing in information rights. He is best known for his FOIMan blog which he began writing in 2010 reflecting on his own experiences of implementing FOI in three very different public authorities: the Greater London Authority, an NHS Trust in south-east London and SOAS, a college of the University of London. He was awarded an LLM with distinction in Information Rights, Law and Practice by the University of Northumbria. He also writes a regular series of articles for the Freedom of Information Journal and has also featured in the Daily Telegraph and Times Higher Education Magazine. He is a member of the examination board for PDP’s Freedom of Information Practitioner Certificate and is regularly invited to speak at conferences and other events on FOI, data protection and other information rights issues.

Customers outside of North America (USA and Canada) should contact Facet Publishing for purchasing information.

Facet Publishing, the commercial publishing and bookselling arm of CILIP: the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, is the leading publisher of books for library and information professionals worldwide. ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. Contact us at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5052 or editionsmarketing@ala.org.