Access to Information

COVID-19 Guidance from the Information Commissioners Office 24 March 2020

The ICO has issued some advice regarding the current unprecedented situation which we find ourselves in. Please see below links which I hope will be of some assistance to you.

You will note that the ICO appreciates that organisations may not be in a position to comply with GDPR/FOI timescales in the usual manner. The ICO has indicated that it will not penalise organisations who need to prioritise other areas or adapt their usual approach during this extraordinary period.

The ICO cannot extend statutory timescales, but it will advise people through its own communication channels that there may be understandable delays with respect to information requests during the pandemic.

Further guidance and frequently asked questions can be found via the second link above.

Freedom of Information  FOI colour logo

All requests for information (other than personal) have to be dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). (Environmental information is any information which relates to the environment e.g. air, water, emissions, noise, waste, landscape)

See PBNI’s FOI Policy

Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA)
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Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR)
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Under FOIA and EIR the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI), which is a non departmental public body (NDPB), has a legal obligation to provide information through an approved publication scheme and in response to written requests. What is a non departmental public body?

Publication Scheme
PBNI has adopted the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) Model Publication Scheme as at September 2013.  The scheme sets out the Board’s commitment to proactively publish information in accordance with its obligations under FOIA. In keeping with its obligation under the Scheme, PBNI has produced a Guide to Information.  The guide sets out the PBNI publications available under the seven classes of information outlined in the Model Publication Scheme and within the definition document (PDF) for non departmental public bodies.

The model publication scheme and definition document are also available for download as follows:

Model Publication Scheme (PDF) 
Definition Document (PDF)

These documents can be made available in a different format or language, if required, on request, by emailing or by writing to PBNI HQ, Communications Unit, 80/90 North Street, Belfast BT1 1LD.

Requests for information not on the Publication Scheme
Before you decide to make a request, please check that the information isn’t already available on our website. There is no charge for this information and it will save you having to make a written request.
How to request information under FOIA/EIR

Personal information
If you believe PBNI holds personal information on you, you can request access to this under the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA).
How to request your personal information under DPA 

Our Privacy Notices explain why we might hold information on you and how we use it.

Information Charter
Our Information Charter sets out the standards you can expect from the Probation Board for Northern Ireland (PBNI) when you request information from PBNI.  Information Charter (PDF)

Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA)External link opens in new window

Useful links 
Information Commissioner’s OfficeExternal link opens in new window
LegislationExternal link opens in new window
National ArchivesExternal link opens in new window
Department of Justice Northern IrelandExternal link opens in new window
Ministry of JusticeExternal link opens in new window