Mick Batskos - Executive Director
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Training

FOI Solutions offers training in government (administrative) law areas including freedom of information and privacy.  FOI Solutions is a specialist firm in the area of administrative law.  We have 2 of only 20 accredited specialist solicitors in Victoria.

We are pre-eminent trainers with extensive knowledge and experience, and a reputation for being able to convey difficult and complex legal concepts in a practical and understandable manner. See below for just some of the feedback we have received about recent training sessions

All training sessions about Victorian legislation are conducted by Victorian lawyers from FOI Solutions. You will have the added benefit of a presenter with legal and practical experience in the Victorian jurisdiction.  Beware of training by non-lawyers or others being offered by entities or individuals with experience in different (non-Victorian) jurisdictions who lack local legal and practical expertise - we provide the best legal and practical training for Victoria drawing on the outcomes of decision making we see involving Information Commissioners (or equivalent) and various Tribunals and Courts, as well as our extensive practical experience.  If you see training offered buy others for free, just remember that you get what you pay for!

If you miss out on a particular session due to the tyranny of distance or diary clashes, some of the papers and associated materials may be available for purchase.  Contact us to seek which papers are available.

Sometimes we have intensive sessions combining a number of our other sessions into a half day or full day program, so keep a look out for them as well.

We often add to our program so come back regularly to see what is available as new and different sessions are added from time to time.

July 2019 - December 2019

Practice Area
Description
Dates

Public Interest Disclosures

Public Interest Disclosure Update 

Lunchtime session

The Victorian integrity and whistleblower regime is being signficantly changed with effect from 1 January 2020.  Don't miss out on this excellent overview to the main changes highlighting how your internal policies and procedures will need to be changed.

 

14 November 2019 (Sold Out)

12 December 2019

If you cannot attend wish to express interest in attending a potentila future session, please email our office

Privacy

Privacy half day intensive

Half day

First time offered, this session will provide you with basics needed for any privacy officer in Victoria including action you need to take in your organisation to ensure compliance.

6 December 2019

If you want to express interest in attending this session, please email email our office 

Freedom of Information

(Victoria)

FOI Professional Standards: Are you ready?

Lunch session

Professional Standards commencing on 2 December 2019 are mandatory and will affect every agency covered by the Victorian FOI Act.  Don't risk non-compliance. We have developed a thorough, practical and easy-to-understand training session.  Numbers strictly limited.

20 November 2019

 

If you cannot attend but wish to express interest in attending a potential future session, please email email our office 

 

Recent trends in the personal affairs exemption

Hour long session

This session provides a comprehensive look at trends in VCAT and OVIC decisions about how s 33 (personal affairs exemption) is being applied and interpreted.  It will look at when is information about staff personal affairs exemption, when is disclosure of personal affairs information unreasonable, whether the OVIC is getting it right, and when an agency may want to challenge an OVIC decision. Check out the feedback below.

 

20 November 2019 - 2.15pm - 3.30pm

If you cannot attend but wish to express interest in attending a potential future session, please email email our office 

 

Discounted Combined session:

3 hours (incl lunch)

A unique opportunity to attend two short but important sessions on the same day including lunch!  Great for those who cannot otherwise justify coming for one session only.  Take advantage of the 50% discount in attending a second session.

 

12 November 2019 (Sold Out)

20 November 2019

If you cannot attend but wish to express interest in attending a potential future session, please email email our office 

 

FOI Basic and Intermediate Training 

Whole day

Our most popular training session for all FOI decision-makers and managers from absolute beginners to experts. Now including Professional Standards amendments.

Learn all the practical knowledge you need about processing FOI requests from receiving requests, assessing validity, refusing without processing, deposits and access charges, managing workflows, exemptions, when partial access is required, and statements of reasons, complemented by extensive workshops to consolidate knowledge.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought fo this all day training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over decades and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act.  Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

Next session in 2020 - come back soon to find out details

If you cannot attend wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email our office

 

Basic FOI Training 

Half day

A great start or refresher for handling FOI requests covering all you need to know to begin processing including:

  • Why we have an FOI Act
  • Scope of right of access
  • What to do when a request is received
  • When can you refuse to process a request
  • Fees and charges
  • Time limits, decisions, Information Commissioner & VCAT review
  • Workshop problems

Now including Professional Standards amendments

Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought of this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria over many years and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

Next session in 2020 - come back soon to find out deta

If you cannot attend but wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email our office

 

Intermediate FOI Training

Half day

Builds on the preliminaries of the Basic session with a focus on when exemptions apply, partial access, reasons for decision and consideration of how FOI interacts with other statutory access regimes and legal processes for gaining access to documents.  This session includes consolidating workshop problems.  Now including Professional Standards amendments.  Read some of the testimonials below to see what participants thought of this training.

This trainng has been done by thousands of FOI officers in Victoria and is conducted by Mick Batskos, Executive Director, with over 30 years experience in dealing with the Victorian FOI Act. Be quick to register - these sessions sell out extremely quickly.

 

Next session in 2020 - come back soon to find out deta

 

If you cannot attend but wish to express interest in attending a future session, please email email our office 

 

Be sure to book in early to avoid disappointment. For more information on any of the training sessions or to register your interest for future training sessions (particularly if you missed out on one that has passed) please contact us at marketing@foisolutions.com.au .  Also contact us if you have any particular topics which you would like included in future training and update sessions.

Note: Sessions are organised by Batskos Holdings Pty Ltd and presented by lawyers of FOI Solutions.

Training sessions are subject to terms and conditions which will appear on the back of your tax invoice.

 

Customised Training

FOI Solutions is also available to present customised training sessions for agencies on freedom of information, privacy, protected disclosures and other areas relevant to them.  That training can be presented in agency offices or their chosen venue at a date and at time suitable for the agency. 

There is a large variety of sessions available and we can customise training to suit individual agency needs. To illustrate the types of training that can be conducted from which sessions can be selected and adapted, we have prepared a Custom Training Sessions Catalogue.  You might even use the Training Catalogue to pick and choose a selection of sessions to develop your own internal training package.

If you would like a copy of the Training Catalogue to be emailed to you, please email us at marketing@foisolutions.com.au

 

Feedback & Testimonials

2019

  • "Comprehensive coverage"; "Amy was very clear and helpful.  Checked back regularly with participants to ensure we were following along"; "Straight to the point with relevant";  "I understood everything! It was simply presented in a language I understood.  Guest audience targetting"   (Public Interest Disclosure Update - 14 November 2019)
  • "The session addressed issues head on and explained them";  "Addressed each standard and explained key aspects";  "Appreciated it being broken up in a way that would follow the processing of a request"; "Well presented, clear & concise; not too long";  "Open and honest opinion about the legislation and common sense approach" (FOI Professional Standards: are you ready? - 12 November 2019)
  • I really liked clarification provided of personal affairs; I liked "everything; you know your stuff, Mick.  Very refreshing!";   the examples were very helpful; I liked the "clear explanation of divergent opinions in the area"  (Recent trends in the personal affairs exemption - 12 November 2019)
  • I liked "real life examples and opportunity to think and practice through case studies";  I liked the "detail in both sessions.  Liked the workshop and discussions." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 10 October 2019)
  • "Interesting topic"; I liked the "detailed information in cases"; "I enjoyed the closer look at a single topic which allowed for a lower level discussion of the components" (Recent trends in the personal affairs exemption - 17 September 2019)
  • "Smaller group session was beneficial for discussion";  "Well paced and engaging anecdotes";  "Mixture of the Act with examples and case studies was good"; "Thank you for a realy useful FOI overview, and helpful take away handouts - especially helpful being new to FOI";  "Extremely relevant to my role" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 1 May 2019)
  • "I liked the small group environment and oppurtunity to ask questions"; "Lunch and location was fantastic" (De-identifying Personal Information - 27 February 2019 )
  • "Lots of information, small group, very good at explaining and putting information into layman terms"; "Professional presentation, level of information, quality of refreshments, coverage of topics"; "Relevant content and use of examples to illustrate points"; "Mick's knowledge is incredible; love hearing about his VCAT case stories"; "Presenter communicated very well and was very relaxed and had excellent practical examples" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 13 February 2019)

2018

  • "Engaging speaker, good pace.  I always love taking away the papers from these sessions";  "The session comprehensively covered the process and the motivation/reason for deidentification";  "I liked the visual presentation and support materials"; "Interesting topic; Emma is a very good presenter";  "Very informative" (De-identifying Personal Information - 3 December 2018 & 10 December 2018)
  • "Nice focus on local government"; "Practical examples relevant to local government"; "Fantastic catering and a small group" (Hidden Gems for Councils - 23 November 2018)
  • "I liked the knowledge of the FOI Act and its workings, advice given, friendliness, small group size, food was great (lots of it and nice)";  "Mick really knows his stuff";  "I liked the workshops , discussing them as a group and working through the examples" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 14 November 2018)
  • "I liked the opportunity to consider less known parts of the Act";  "I liked the detail of the topics and content - very informative/useful"; "Content was appropriate, well presented, clear, small groups and relevant";  "It provided information and generated interest in areas I had not previously considered"  (HIdden FOI Gems for Councils - 10 October 2018)
  • "Lots of case examples to characterise principles";  "Good introduction to privacy";   "Clarified the basics of privacy given I'm new to this" (Back to Basics: Privacy 101 - 20 September 2018)
  • "Regular examples and ability to ask questions provided clarity as it was being discussed without having wait until the end";  The workshops and questions allowed the opportunity to engage and discuss FOI questions"; Both sessions were comprehensive and information delivered is relevant and useful.  Well organised and executed";  Concise and well articulated/explained training sessions.  Mick kept group engaged all day. (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 15 August 2018)
  • "Very informative";  "Gave me all the information I needed";  "I liked the detailed and referenced information which is always really useful";  "I liked that the key inforamtion was provided concisely" (Data Sharing: How does it affect me? - 13 August 2018)
  • "The information provided was comprehensive and handouts useful.  The small group also helped with discussions";  "I liked the questions and answers where we were able to put theory into practice";   "Very informative.  Mick was able to give clear examples of how things related to the topics covered" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 6 July 2018)
  • "Very good facilitation with relevant & interesting examples clearly articulated in an engaging manner";  "Great presentation - clear and easy to understand";  "Well explained, clear & concise, good examples provided";  "Presenter clearly very knowledgeable" (Back to Basics: Privacy 101 - 25 June 2018)
  • "The materials provided are fantastic.  The delivery provided great content and how to apply the Act logically";  "The topics covered and the workshop topics were really practical and helpful.  I learnt a lot";  "Good overview of the process and examples that effectively illustrated the procss, exemptions, pitfalls";  "Extremely informative - it covered lots of ground and gave real liife examples to help illustrate points";  "Mick has extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for the topics";  "I loved this session.  Having been out of the FOI field for 12 months, this session highlighted relevant updates without going over unnecessary material.  Mick is always accommodating of questions asked throughout the session and I'm returning to my office feeling confident about my existing requests that need processing";  "Gettimg Mick's take on several tricky parts of the FOI Act which there is not much case law on was fantastic."  (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 6 June 2018)
  • "Covered everything needed while allowing for lots of questions and individual agency context - extremely helpful";  "So helpful- thank you!!";  "A lot for a day but I feel confident now on why the legislation exists, the process we need to follow to approach this and where to go to get help and understand what we need to do";  "Such a bland topci made very interesting, greatly appreciated.  Presenter had fantastic knowledge." (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 19 April 2018)
  • Katy was a "very knowledgeable speaker with useful slides";  "High level, informative"; "Very thorough, good examples";  Katy was an "engaging speaker, good overview";  "Relevant information for agencies"  (Mandatory Data Breach Notification - 15 March 2018)
  • "Practical and accessible for non-legal participants";  "Excellent presentation of the material to those that are not from a legal background/ or no FOI knowledge";  "Excellent explanation and overview of FOI Act";  "Ability to aske in depth questions and receive practical answers";  "Incredibly informative";  "The examples support the information.  Mick's advanced and extensive knowledge and humour" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 8 March 2018).
  • "Well presented by Mick Batskos - Informative.  Excellent class training";  "Examples and discussion was very thought provoking";  "Assumed no knowledge of FOI.  Used useful and relevant examples";  "Broad range of topics; very informative" (FOI Basic and Intermediate Training - 25 January 2018).