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. Wherever the right to know is introduced, its success depends on the way it is implemented. In organisations worldwide, FOI only works because of those who oversee its operation on a day-to-day basis, promoting openness, processing requests and advising colleagues and the public. FOI is dependent on the FOI Officers. The Freedom of Information Officer’s Handbook is a comprehensive guide to FOI and its management. It is designed to be an indispensable tool for FOI Officers and their colleagues.
Paul Gibbons is an independent consultant and trainer specialising 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 later awarded an LLM with distinction in Information Rights, Law and Practice by the University of Northumbria.