Chapter 30

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011: Access to Information in the Age of Electronic Record

Chapter Content

  1. Introduction
  2. Historical Development of Freedom of Information
  3. Enactment of Nigeria’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  4. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2011
    1. The Objective of the Act
    2. Institutions to which FOIA Applies
    3. Files and Records subject to FOI Request and Production
    4. Obligation of the Public Institution to Keep, Organise and Maintain Records
    5. Right of any Person to Access, Request or Disclose Information
    6. Information Exempted from Disclosure
    7. Response to Access Request and Timeline
    8. Consequences for Refusal to Respond to Request
    9. Judicial Remedy for Denial of Access to Information
    10. Implementation of the FOIA and Role of the Attorney-General of the Federation
    11. Proactive Disclosure Requirements under the FOI Act
    12. Categories of Records required to be Disclosed Proactively
    13. Failure to Disclose Records Proactively under Section 2(3) of the FOI Act
  5. Are States Obligated to Enforce the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
  6. The use of Technology in Access and Response to Request under the FOI Act with a view to managing its eDiscovery Process
    1. Background
    2. Creation and Maintenance of Public Records by Governments and Public Institutions
    3. Format of Record Keeping and Maintenance
    4. Access to Public Records in the Same Format Kept and Maintained by Governments and their Agencies
    5. Where the Records Requested are in the Cloud
    6. Is Private Email used by Officials of Government Agencies and Public Institutions subject to FOI Act?
    7. Maintaining Authenticity and Trustworthiness of Electronic Records for Purposes of FOI Act
    8. Application and Use of eDiscovery Process in the Management of Potentially Responsive ESI under FOI Act

The Nigeria Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requires public institutions to proactively publish certain types of information even without any request. It further places an obligation that the identified information should be widely disseminated and made available to the public through various means, including electronic, print and online channels as well as at the organisation’s offices. There is no gainsaying that in today’s Internet age the Federal and State agencies are awash in electronic data. Not only are they constantly producing and collecting data, they in some respects are obligated to retain just about everything in electronic form. As data roams across agency networks, the volume of relevant data becomes inevitably huge, both in the Cloud and social channels. Given its nature in the discovery process, Chapters 30 addresses in a most detailed manner the Nigeria Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) with a view to its request and production in electronic format where the exigencies of litigation so dictate.