Freedom of Information

1.0 Policy Statement

1.1 The purpose of this policy is to support the achievement of the outcomes identified within the College’s Strategic Plan.

1.2 This policy will support the implementation of our “Purpose”:

– “To work together to raise aspirations and success through excellence in all that we do whilst striving to achieve the best sustainable practices.”

2.0 Scope

2.1 The scope of this policy will be all information held by the college and publically available under the terms of the relevant Freedom of Information Acts

3.0 Key Principles

3.1 This policy will be implemented in a manner that embraces our “Core Principles”:

– Togetherness – Respect and value all those we come into contact with

– Standards – Consistently deliver the highest quality in all that we do

– Sustainability – Promote the protection of our environment in our business activities

– Customer Care – Put learners and customers at the heart of everything we do

4.0 General

4.1 The Freedom of Information Acts (FoIA) give members of the public a general right of access to all recorded information held by the college. Any person has the right to ask if information is held by the college and to see a copy of that information. There are exemptions to this right set out in the Act and detailed in FOI procedures.

4.2 The college is obliged by the Act to publish a Publication Scheme. The Publication Scheme outlines the kinds of information held by the college and how it may be accessed. The Scheme is available to the public through the college web site. Paper copies are available on request. This policy will be implemented in accordance with all existing and emerging legislation.

4.3 The college supports the principle of openness in public institutions and recognises that, in addition to the exemptions outlined in the procedures, there is an obligation to maintain an individual’s right to privacy.

4.4 The management of personal and sensitive information will continue to be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Acts. The requirements of those Acts shall supersede the requirements of the Freedom of Information Acts. Breach of confidentiality by any employee may lead to disciplinary action up to and including summary dismissal.

4.5 The college will produce and publish a Publication Scheme that describes the range of information held by the college. These information sources may already be openly published by the college or a specific request may be required. The Scheme indicates how the information may be accessed and gives details relating to any appropriate costs that bay be required.

4.6 The Scheme will be regularly reviewed and updated as necessary. The classes of information in the Scheme are those given in the Model Scheme for Further Education Colleges. These comprise the following main classes: 1. Governance 2. Financial Resources 3. Human Resources 4. Physical Resources 5. Student Administration and Support 6. Information Services 7. Teaching and Learning 8. External Relations

4.7 Procedures for handling requests are set out in separate document and are in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

5.0 Monitoring and Review

5.1 This Policy has been approved by the Board of Governors in July 2009 and is to be reviewed by Board on annual basis.

5.2. The internal monitoring of the implementation of this policy will be the responsibility of the Director of MIS and IT who will produce regular reports on request to the Board.

5.3 The responsibility for ensuring that this policy, and its associated processes and procedures, remain appropriate and comply with changes in legislation will be held by the Vice Principal Finance and Resources.