This book is a practical guide on how to use the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information, how to avoid the pitfalls associated with making applications and, crucially, how to appeal decisions to refuse or to limit information being released. But the book also explores and highlights lesser known laws such as the Access to Information on the Environment regulation and the Data Protection Acts, and details how they can be used to extract information from the State. While FOI has been the main tool used by organisations and individuals to access records, Secrets of the State also goes into detail about AIE and explains what a force it can be opening up the State to public scrutiny. In particular, while FOI is limited to Government departments, local authorities and some State bodies, AIE on the other hand has no such restrictions. It applies to all State bodies including those outside the scope of FOI.
The book is written for those who have no or limited experience of making applications to get State information. It takes people on a step by step guide though the process of seeking information under FOI, AIE or the Data Protection Acts. The book explains in simple, easy to understand language the various sections of the Acts that are frequently cited by State bodies to refuse or limit the amount of information to be released. It also goes into details on how to appeal and what arguments to make in that appeal. The book also examines how the laws can be used by businesses to their benefit as well as advising how FOI requests can be made to other countries around the world as well as in the EU.
"The aim of the book is to encourage more and more use of the laws which allow the public access to State records," according to the author. "It's only by making people more aware of their rights can they exercise those rights, to see exactly what is being done in their name and with their money."
- Additional Information
Author Dowling, Richard Editor No Print Format Paperback ISBN-10 1908308028 ISBN-13 978-1-908308-02-3 Illustrations No Date of Publication September 2011 Number of Pages 250