1. What is FOIA?
    FOIA is the Act that gives a person the right to access information from Government Agencies, Parastatals, Federal Civil Service, Private and Public sectors etc.
  2. What are the objectives of the FOIA
    The Objectives of the FOIA include

    • To make public records and information more freely available:
    • To provide for public access to public records and information, protect public records and information to the extent consistent with the public interest and the protection of personal privacy,
    • To protect serving public officers from adverse consequences for disclosing certain kinds of official information without authorization and establish procedures for the achievement of those purposes.
    • To ensure that public institutions answer applications for information.
    • To ensure that public institutions practise good records management to make certain that information can be quickly identified, shared and retrieved.
    • To ensure that access to any information that is in the custody or possession of any public institution is granted
    • To ensure that Impediments or bureaucracy is not deployed to frustrate such requests
    • To also ensure the right to take legal action in Courts to compel any public institution to comply with the Act is available.
  3. Who can make a request under the FOIA?
    Any person, group, association, organization etc. can make a request. The request must be made in writing, describing the information sought for, and complying with specific institutional requirements.
  4. How does a person make a FOI request?
    To get information under the FOIA, typically one must make a request. This could either be written (preferred) or oral describing the information sought for, and the format that is required, in as much detail as possible.

  5. Where does a person send an FOI request?
    The Information Management Division of an organization or other unit specifically created usually handle FOI requests. For PTAD, a Monitoring & Compliance Unit FOI Officer avails all received requests the quickest possible response.
  6. Are there time limits for which information requested, must be furnished?
    Unless an exemption applies, the information required must if it is held, be furnished within 7 working days.

  7.  Are there any criminal sanctions for Non- compliance with the Act?
    Yes, If a staff conceals, alters or deliberately destroys information, he/she would be liable to prosecution, and a fine or imprisonment.
  8.  Are there any fees for making FOIA requests?
    Yes, a fee will be charged to recover the costs of document search, duplication and, in commercial cases, review.
  9. Are all Records releasable under the FOIA?
    The FOIA gives a person the right to request access to Federal records. However, some records are exempted from release and these include, but are not limited to:
    1. National security records which have been lawfully classified on national security grounds, and remain classified;
    2. Records which disclosure will constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individual’s personal privacy;
    3.  Records compiled for law enforcement purposes;
    4.  Records protected from release by statutes other than FOIA.
  10. What sections of the law provide exemptions to disclosure.
    All government or public institutions are required, subject to certain exemptions, to disclose information pursuant to a request by any person. The exemptions are provided by:Section 11- Exemption of international affairs and defence.Section 12- Exemption of law enforcement and investigation.Section 14- Exemption of personal information.Section 15- Exemption of third party information.Section 16- Exemption of professional or other privileges conferred by law.Section 17- Exemption of course or research material.Section 19- Denial by a public institution to disclose records.
  11. What is the mandate of PTAD’s Freedom of Information Officer:
    The mandate of PTAD’s Freedom of Information Officer includes:To process oral or written application(s) for access to information and records;
  • To process oral or written application(s) for access to information and records;
  • To liaise with other Depts./ Units to address request(s);
  • To manage all requests in collaboration with Legal Services Unit at all times;
  • Prepare and submit FOI implementation report to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) on or before 1st February for the preceding year;
  • Develop standard charges for documents and transcriptions in PTAD; and
  • Provide advisory services on FOI.