FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997

Enactments relating to non-disclosure of records.

32

32. (1) A head shall refuse to grant a request under section 7 if—

( a) the disclosure of the record concerned is prohibited by any enactment (other than a provision specified in column (3) of the Third Schedule of an enactment specified in that Schedule), or

( b) the non-disclosure of the record is authorised by any such enactment in certain circumstances and the case is one in which the head would, pursuant to the enactment, refuse to disclose the record.

(2) A joint committee of both Houses of the Oireachtas shall, if authorised in that behalf by both such Houses (and such a committee so authorised is referred to subsequently in this section as “ the committee”)—

( a) review from time to time the operation of any provisions of any enactment that authorise or require the non-disclosure of a record (other than a provision specified in the said column (3)) for the purpose of ascertaining whether, having regard to the provisions, purposes and spirit of this Act—

(i) any of those provisions should be amended or repealed, or

(ii) a reference to any of them should be included in the said column (3),

and

( b) prepare and furnish to each such House a report in writing of the results of the review aforesaid and, if it considers it appropriate to do so, include in the report recommendations in relation to the amendment, repeal or continuance in force of, or the inclusion in the said column (3) of a reference to, any of those provisions.

(3) A Minister of the Government shall, in accordance with subsection (6), prepare and furnish to the committee reports in writing—

( a) specifying, as respects any enactments that confer functions on that Minister of the Government or on a public body in relation to which functions are vested in that Minister of the Government, any provisions thereof that authorise or require the non-disclosure of a record, and

( b) specifying whether, in the opinion of that Minister of the Government and (where appropriate) any such public body, formed having regard to the provisions, purposes and spirit of this Act—

(i) any of the provisions referred to in paragraph (a) should be amended, repealed or allowed to continue in force, or

(ii) a reference to any of them should be included in the said column (3),

and outlining the reasons for the opinion.

(4) A Minister of the Government shall cause a copy of a report prepared by him or her under subsection (3) to be furnished to the Commissioner and to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

(5) The Commissioner may, and shall, if so requested by the committee, furnish to the committee his or her opinion and conclusions in relation to a report under subsection (3) or any matter contained in or arising out of such a report or any matter relating to or arising out of the operation of this section.

(6) The first report under subsection (3) of a Minister of the Government shall be furnished by him or her in accordance with that subsection not later than 12 months after the commencement of this Act and subsequent such reports of that Minister of the Government shall be so furnished not later than 30 days after the fifth anniversary of the day on which the last previous such report by him or her was so furnished.