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Freedom of Information Virtual Conference
Virtual Event

Event Finished


Wed, 2 Mar from
09:30 to 12:45 (BST)



From £125

Thank you to those who attended the conference, we hope you enjoyed it,

Freedom of Information legislation was extended to RSLs in November 2019, just months prior to the Covid-19 emergency.

This interactive half day virtual conference looked at how the pandemic has impacted on FOI in general and provided an overview of FOI in practice across the sector. 

Data Protection Conference

Tuesday 8 March 2022 

Since the General Data Protection Regulations came into force in 2018, there has been much change in the world and in our sector. Never has strong data governance been more crucial within organisations and further legislative change is on the horizon.

This participative half day conference will look at a variety of topics, including what changes are proposed to data protection legislation; a voluntary Code of Conduct being developed by NHF; and the importance of being a data driven organisation. The conference will conclude with a chance to hear examples from within the sector of data protection in practice.

This interactive and engaging event will be of particular interest to RSL staff responsible for ensuring data protection compliance within their organisation.

Book here!


Member Price £125

Non-member Price £189

Programme Listings

9.30 Conference Welcome 

Alan Stokes, SFHA 

9.45 FOI and the pandemic 

Daren Fitzhenry, Scottish Information Commissioner 

The Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) published its second special report on the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on FOI in Scotland.  At this session, the SIC will outline their findings and look at how FOI is bedding into our sector two years on from its extension to RSLs. 

10.30 FOI Legal Update 

Paul Mutch, Scottish Information Commissioner 

Eileen Barr, TC Young 

Further changes to FOI are currently being discussed within Scottish Government.  Whilst it is still unknown what form these might take, this session will explore what potentially could be on the horizon for FOI and what this might mean for our sector.  This interactive session will also offer delegates the opportunity to discuss any aspects of FOI they would like to see amended as part of any potential changes. 

11.15 Break 

11.30 FOI in Practice 

Ainsley Mckinlay, TC Young

Sandra MacIntyre, Grampian Housing Association 

In November 2019, SFHA made available a free helpline to members provided by TC Young Solicitors in order to assist in meeting the requirements.  This session will explore frequently asked questions raised via the helpline and include examples from the sector of issues they have encountered.   

12.10 FOI Q&A with TC Young 

Eileen Barr, TC Young 

The conference will close with an opportunity to ask any FOI related queries to TC Young.  Delegates will be given the chance to submit questions in advance, although queries can also be raised on the day. 

12.40 Close of Conference 


Daren Fitzhenry profile image

Daren Fitzhenry
Scottish Information Commissioner

Daren Fitzhenry took up post as Scottish Information Commissioner in October 2017, for a fixed term of six years

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Prior to his current role, he was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force Legal Branch, heading up its legal advisory team, with wide-ranging experience in the development, implementation and enforcement of regulatory systems.  

As Scottish Information Commissioner, Daren is responsible for the enforcement and promotion of Scotland’s freedom of information laws. This includes handling appeals about the way in which Scottish public authorities respond to information requests, promoting good practice and monitoring and assessing FOI performance.  

He is strongly committed to the principles of freedom of information, recognising the significant benefits that FOI brings to society, not least its key role in enabling the public's participation and engagement in the issues which really matter to them.

Eileen Barr profile image

Eileen Barr
TC Young

Eileen Barr has worked in TC Youngs' Commercial Department since she began her legal traineeship. Her knowledge of housing organisations and the diversity of Eileen’s experience means that she can assist on a variety of legal matters.

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As part of her key role in our commercial team, Eileen assists clients with the negotiation of loan documentation with major lenders and advises on financial legal paperwork to re-finance loans with lenders – including providing reports to Committee on refinanced loan terms.

Eileen assists RSL clients in complying with Freedom of Information and the Environmental Information Regulations. She was commissioned by SFHA and GWSF to produce FOI template documents and guidance for their members. Eileen frequently provides FOI training to RSLs and speaks at sector events about FOI.

She offers advice to organisations regarding company incorporation, setting up subsidiaries, and other issues relating to corporate structures.

Eileen provides guidance to clients on compliance with a number of regulatory regimes including procurement and Registered Social Landlord governance.

She also undertakes the negotiation of terms of contractual documentation on behalf of clients including commercial leases and service contracts.   

Paul Mutch profile image

Paul Mutch
Scottish Information Commissioner

Paul has worked with the Scottish Information Commissioner since 2003, helping to promote and enforce Scotland's FOI laws. As part of the Policy and Information Team, Paul is focused on raising public awareness and understanding of FOI rights and supporting FOI best practice within public bodies.

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Recent areas of work have included leading the Commissioner’s activity to support Scotland's housing associations as they prepared for FOI and leading on work to support improvements in Scottish Government FOI performance. Paul also prepared the Commissioner's consultation response on FOI extension and developed the new monthly FOI newsletter, 'Open Update', which is available at www.itspublicknowledge.info/signup.

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