Information Law Services for Local Authorities

Since the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act, balancing the drive towards openness and transparency, with the need to protect individuals' information has become more difficult than ever for authorities.

04/05/2016

Individuals' knowledge of their information rights has further increased the pressure on local authorities to ensure that their compliance with the relevant statutory regimes is nothing less than perfect. Additionally, the increasing need to share data with third party organisations has placed a significant burden on authorities to ensure they do so where necessary and appropriate, but in compliance with the law.

The challenges in this area are set to further increase in 2018 when data protection law will be subject to a significant overhaul. Organisations are being encouraged to start preparing for these changes as soon as possible to ensure compliance.

Bevan Brittan has an in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges that face our local authority clients. Our Information Law team is on hand to provide accessible and high-quality advice, ranging from one off queries and instructions to retainer style arrangements, to give you comfort that your authority is legally compliant in this complex area.

We provide advice that is both pragmatic and cost-effective, ensuring that matters are managed proactively. This includes:

  • Advising on requests made under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations, including advice on exemptions from disclosure, redactions, application of the public interest test and drafting responses to applicants
  • Acting for authorities in relation to Freedom of Information referrals to the Information Commissioner's Office and appeals to the First-Tier Tribunal
  • Providing advice on a range of data protection issues such as compliance with subject access requests, information security and dealing with data breaches
  • Advising on data sharing issues in relation to both emergency one off disclosures and large scale sharing exercises
  • Drafting documentation such as data sharing agreements and clauses in commercial documents, data processing agreements, privacy notices and internal data protection policies and protocols
  • Representing clients in relation to individuals' complaints of breach of their data processing rights, both to the Information Commissioner's Office and to Court
  • Delivering training and workshops on a range of information law matters and practical steps for compliance

If you would to receive any information regarding our information law services please contact a member of the Information Law team (overleaf) or your usual Bevan Brittan contact.

 

Meet the Information Law team

Emma Godding

Jonathan Moore

Joanna Smart

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