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The British Computing Society(BCS) is offering a new qualification to help IT pros ensure they are ready for 1 January when the Freedom of Information Act comes into force.

From New Year's Day all public bodies must be able to provide the public with any information they require under the Act within 20 days. Despite having had four years to comply there are fears that many bodies are still not ready. Central and local government, schools, hospitals and the police must all comply with the law.

David Clarke, chief executive of the BCS, said: "The threat of hefty fines and possible prison sentences means that the need for certified IT professionals responsible for enforcing the Act, is imperative."

The ISEB (Information Systems Examinanation Board) certificate will show public sector IT professionals what they need to know. The five-day course covers the background to the legislation, responsibilities under the new law and how to enforce it. It covers both the Freedom of Information Act and FOIA Scotland. The course is available across the country from Mason's Solicitors.

More here. ®

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