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Module 5: Conduct of reviews

Module 5: Conduct of reviews

This module is designed to help your authority carry out an effective review of its response to a request. If an individual is unhappy either with the response they have received or the way in which their request was handled, they have a right to request a formal review by the authority. This module is not just about meeting this statutory requirement, however - good review practice brings wider benefits through improved public trust, increased service user satisfaction, and learning for future requests.

Module content

The module looks at the following areas of practice:

  • Leadership commitment - Are the benefits of proper FOI review processes, and the risks of failure to carry them out, acknowledged by leaders and managers in the authority?
  • Clear but flexible process - Is there a robust, proportionate procedure that is known and accessible by all relevant staff? Are reviews carried out independently of those answering requests?
  • Staff resources and training - Do those carrying out reviews receive appropriate training, understand their responsibilities and have sufficient authority to challenge original responses?
  • Responsive and evolving authority - Does the authority monitor the outcomes of reviews and SIC decisions and learn from them in improving FOI and wider customer service practice?