FOI & DP Associates
A network of FOI & DP experts
Jim Amos is an expert on the use made by business of FOI in Australia, Canada, the USA and Europe. He has advised the Information Commissioner on publication schemes, conducted an openness audit of the HSE and the Countryside Agency. He is the author of FOI and Business (1999), A Guide for Business to the planned UK Freedom of Information Act (2000) and A Practical Guide to the FOI Act for Local Authorities (2001, republished and updated in 2004). Jim also contributed to the research and authoring of the PIRA report for the European Commission concerning the commercial exploitation of Europe’s public sector information; a key source document for Directive 2003/98/EC on the re-use of public sector information.
Professor Patrick Birkinshaw
Patrick Birkinshaw is an experienced and widely published public lawyer. He is an authority on secrecy and access to justice, freedom of information, European public law in addition to government and economic regulation. He has acted as a special adviser to the Commons Select Committee on Public Administration in that Committee's inquiries into Freedom of Information legislation and Political Memoirs. He is the author of Freedom of Information: the Law, the Practice and the Ideal (3rd edition 2001); Government and Information: the Law Relating to Access, Disclosure and Regulation (3rd edition 2005) and European Public Law (1st edition 2003).
Patrick's latest book, co written with Dr Mike Varney, 'Government and Information: the Law Relating to Access, Disclosure and their Regulation' (4th edition 2011, Bloomsbury Professional) is available now.
Sarah is studying for a PhD at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration in Lausanne, Switzerland. Previously she was the Access to Information Research Fellow at the Constitution Unit, which she joined in July 2004 after completing a Masters degree in Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University and a Masters in Latin American Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Having worked with Alasdair Roberts on several projects relating to FoI issues in the U.S. and Canada, Sarah has a background in comparative access to information research. Sarah has worked with local government officials both in the U.S. and Japan and in the human rights field in Ecuador.
Formerly Home Office Under Secretary responsible for Constitutional Affairs (and Course Director, Civil Service College). Bob has lectured on the Government's constitutional reform programme and has led the Unit's programme of training on FOI and DP for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has provided advice on strategic issues of FOI to government departments and agencies, and given workshops raising awareness of potential problems within a range of public sector organisations.
Daniel J. Metcalfe
Dan is the foremost expert on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the United States and the most experienced litigator of transparency lawsuits in the world. As Founding Director of the Office of Information and Privacy in the United States Department of Justice, he was primarily responsible for the development of the openness-in-government policies of the U.S. Federal Government, directly supervised the defense of more than 500 FOIA lawsuits, and assisted nearly 100 other nations and international governing bodies in the development and implementation of their own FOIA-like laws from 1981 to 2007. Upon his retirement from government service, he joined the faculty of American University's Washington College of Law as a Faculty Fellow in Law and Government as well as Executive Director of WCL's new Collaboration on Government Secrecy, the first academic centre of its kind to be established at any law school in the world. He recently was appointed by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick to be a member of the World Bank's new Access to Information Appeals Board, an independent tribunal that makes final decisions on appeals taken under the Bank's new worldwide information disclosure policy. He serves with board members from India and France, and together they hold final authority to order the public disclosure of World Bank records.
Gill has 20 years' experience in education, training, development and management. She has designed award winning training materials and is a leading designer of e-learning resources, with particular expertise in topics such as data protection, freedom of information and information security. She is an expert consultant and facilitator across a range of organisation development issues including performance management, team development, customer service and business process review. Gill has delivered FOI training to a number of central and local government bodies including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
She is the founder of Cathedral Consulting, for more information visit their website at www.cathedralconsulting.co.uk
Alasdair Roberts (www.aroberts.us) is the Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. His work on open government and public services reform has been widely published. His book Blacked Out: Government Secrecy in the Information Age, published by Cambridge University Press, won four book awards. Professor Roberts is also an elected Fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration. He holds a JD from the University of Toronto and a PhD in Public Policy from Harvard University.
His book, The Logic of Discipline: Global Capitalism and the Architecture of Government, was published in April 2010 by Oxford University Press
A former director of The National Archives, Duncan led the introduction of the framework for electronic records management in government and for the records management aspects of FOI, DP and information management generally. He is an authority on the relationship between implementing effective records management, achieving business objectives and improving operational effectiveness. He has led a readiness review of FOI at the Countryside Agency, workshops on strategic approaches to FOI for local authorities and advised the House of Commons staff on email disclosure. Duncan has also advised on the design and construction of a National Records Centre for Tanzania.
Graham has worked in the Home Office and Department for Constitutional Affairs, where from 1993 until 2004 he worked on DP policy. While developing UK DP policy, he was a member of the UK team that negotiated the EC DP Directive, and led the team of officials that prepared the UK's Data Protection Act 1998. He has represented the UK on the Committee set up under Article 31 of the Data Protection Directive to deal with issues relating to the transfer of personal data to third countries. He was also the UK representative (and intermittent Deputy Chairman) of the Council of Europe's Project Group on Data Protection and Consultative Committee on Data Protection. Through the Council of Europe Graham has helped with the development of data protection laws in a number of countries in central and eastern Europe.
Peter left the civil service in 2008, having worked on a wide range of economic issues over 30 years, largely at the DTI. He has led for the Unit on a consultancy project on FOI for the Information Commissioner’s Office role; and he is currently leading a research project for Parliament and the Cabinet office on the effectiveness of select committees holding pre-appointment hearings for major public appointments.
Formerly Deputy Commissioner at the Office of the Information Commissioner, John directed the Commissioner’s activities over a wide range of interests, including the Commissioner’s early role in FOI. At the international level, he represented the Commissioner in working groups at the Council of Europe, and also advised (as an invited data protection expert) a US Department of Justice Task Force on Privacy. More recently, he worked with the Data Protection Commissioner in Cyprus under a European Union project, providing advice and assistance on establishing the full operational functions of her office. John is the author of A Practical Guide to the Data Protection Act and Access to Personal Information - a handbook for officials, both published by The Constitution Unit. John has run training courses on Data Protection and FOI in a number of organisations, including the General Medical Council and the House of Commons.