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FOI and DPA Awareness Campaigns

The Governance Team is embarking on a new campaign to raise awareness about the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act within the University.

The programme is being developed at the moment, but is expected to include posters, postcards, presentations and communications to reinforce the message that we need to be more aware of the information we store in our systems.

At the time of writing, we have begun to deliver a series of FOI and DPA briefings to ITMS staff and Faculty Managers. We’re working on developing appropriate resources to allow us to target key personnel in the University with our message.

Coincidentally, the Information Commissioner recently announced “four out of ten students online (42%) are concerned that personal information available about them online might affect their future employment prospects”. The figures were based on a YouGov survey of 500 students. The ICO has recently launched their 2011 Student Brand Ambassador campaign and a DMU student is taking part to raise awareness of information rights among young people.


Posted in Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information.

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New ICO Research and FOI Guidance

New guidance about Freedom of Information (FOI), the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR, an access regime that is similar to FOI, but concerning information about the environment) and research information was released by the Information Commissioner in September 2011.  It is designed to increase awareness and understanding among academics and researchers and to help practitioners to comply with their legal obligations.

Additionally, a paper before Parliament suggests a proposed change to the Freedom of Information Act that would create a new research-related justification under an existing exemption; “Information intended for future publication”.

FOI & EIR Guidance

There are three elements of the new guidance that are particular interest to researchers.


Posted in Environmental Information Regulations, Freedom of Information.

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Help – I’ve Got A FOI Request!

Freedom of Information LogoPeople can get awfully flustered when they receive a FOI request, yet they probably shouldn’t.

The first thing to do is to actually recognise that what you have is actually a FOI request. A FOI request is:

  • in writing
  • asks for information
  • gives their real name and
  • an address for correspondence

Unfortunately, it does not need to say that it’s a “Freedom of Information request” anywhere. The onus is on us to work it out. The rationale for this is actually quite sensible – the public should not have to be familiar with which Act they need to apply under in order to access information – but it does make it harder for us. So, vigilance is essential.

If it asks for information (and we wouldn’t include things we give out in the normal course of business such as prospectuses, guides to the Library etc) and fulfils the other criteria, it should be forwarded to me at Please do this even if the requested information is in your department and to hand.


Posted in Freedom of Information.

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JISCMail Lists and Information Governance

There can hardly be a department in the University that does not have at least one member of staff who is subscribed to a JISCMail List. JISCMail is a mailing list service dedicated to helping the FE, HE and research communities collaborate.

JISCMail is good. It connects professionals and helps us share good practice and keep up with what’s happening in our own niche areas. However, I would like to talk about some issues related to information governance and the use of these lists.


Posted in Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information.

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An introduction…

Welcome to “T.M.I.”, the blog of the Information Governance Team in ITMS.

We are Neil Faver and Fraser Marshall, and we’re sort of like Batman and Robin when it comes to how the University handles its information. Except we wear normal trousers.

Neil is the Governance Manager, responsible for Information Security and Fraser is the Information Governance Manager, responsible for Freedom of Information, Data Protection Act compliance and Records Management.

We aim to update this blog with the latest happenings in the world of information governance. There’ll be tips and tricks, links to useful resources and news and a repository of things we think you might like to know about information governance.

You can get in touch with us by leaving a comment below or by shining a big silhouette of some information onto the nearest cloud and we’ll come running (business hours only).


With thanks to Fiona Downes for the Blog Title TMI.


Posted in Admin.

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