Day in the life of: Information Access Officer
23 January 2024
A day in the life of…Amy Ward, Information Access Officer at Veritau
Amy has been with Veritau since December 2022 and works as an Information Access Officer within our Information Governance service.
We asked Amy to describe a typical day in her role.
What’s a typical day like in your role?
One of the main focuses of my day in my role as Information Access Officer is Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, working with our clients to ensure responses are compliant under the FOIA legislation. Some requests can be complex and require meetings with officers across multiple service areas.
Supporting our clients with Subject Access Requests (SARs) is also a large part of my role. This includes reviewing large amounts of data, providing advice and recommendations in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK GDPR.
In line with appeals processes, I also carry out internal reviews of FOI and SAR responses.
Each week I will be on the rota to oversee the Information Governance inbox, logging and assigning new requests and queries.
Once a month there is an Information Governance meeting where each team comes together to share updates and present research projects.
What skills are required in your daily work?
A lot of the work that we carry out in the Information Access team is deadline driven and so time management is crucial. I like to have a plan of action in place each day, allowing room for any urgent or unexpected tasks that might pop up!
I spend my day communicating with clients and my colleagues within Veritau, and so having a helpful, positive and enthusiastic attitude is extremely valuable in working well together to build rapport and deliver a great service.
What type of clients do you work with?
Our clients are mainly Councils, although we do take on work for other public authorities.
What attracted you to a role in Information Governance?
I had previously worked in Information Governance for local government and really enjoyed how fast paced and varied the work was. It was challenging in a really positive way, and I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in Information Governance. As my role at Veritau centres around information access, it has enabled me to concentrate on developing an area of expertise in that field. Individuals are becoming more aware of their rights of access to information, and being able to support clients with FOI and SAR requests is rewarding because it helps to promote and maintain positive relationships between the public and public authorities, something that I believe is becoming increasingly important.
What do you enjoy most about being an Information Access Officer?
I really appreciate the way knowledge is shared amongst the team, and the way that we are encouraged to present our ideas and feedback. It creates a really positive team spirit and makes me feel valued.
There is always something to learn and that means that I constantly feel like I am progressing, and it keeps the role exciting! The work is really stimulating, especially the more complex requests that come in as they require a lot of research and consideration.
Find out more
To find out more about how our Information Access Officers can support your organisation and our Information Governance service, click here.