Freedom of Information Act 2014


Number 30 of 2014


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014

REVISED

Updated to 25 May 2018


This Revised Act is an administrative consolidation of the Freedom of Information Act 2014. It is prepared by the Law Reform Commission in accordance with its function under the Law Reform Commission Act 1975 (3/1975) to keep the law under review and to undertake revision and consolidation of statute law.

All Acts up to and including Data Protection Act 2018 (7/2018), enacted 24 May 2018, and all statutory instruments up to and including Data Protection Act 2018 (Establishment Day) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 175 of 2018), made 24 May 2018, were considered in the preparation of this Revised Act.

Disclaimer: While every care has been taken in the preparation of this Revised Act, the Law Reform Commission can assume no responsibility for and give no guarantees, undertakings or warranties concerning the accuracy, completeness or up to date nature of the information provided and does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. Please notify any errors, omissions and comments by email to

revisedacts@lawreform.ie.


Number 30 of 2014


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014

REVISED

Updated to 25 May 2018


Introduction

This Revised Act presents the text of the Act as it has been amended since enactment, and preserves the format in which it was passed.

Related legislation

This Act is not collectively cited with any other Act.

Annotations

This Revised Act is annotated and includes textual and non-textual amendments, statutory instruments made pursuant to the Act and previous affecting provisions.

An explanation of how to read annotations is available at

www.lawreform.ie/annotations.

Material not updated in this revision

Where other legislation is amended by this Act, those amendments may have been superseded by other amendments in other legislation, or the amended legislation may have been repealed or revoked. This information is not represented in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the amended legislation if one is available.

Where legislation or a fragment of legislation is referred to in annotations, changes to this legislation or fragment may not be reflected in this revision but will be reflected in a revision of the legislation referred to if one is available.

A list of legislative changes to any Act, and to statutory instruments from 1985, may be found may be found linked from the page of the Act or statutory instrument at

www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Acts which affect or previously affected this revision

Data Protection Act 2018 (7/2018)

Independent Reporting Commission Act 2017 (25/2017)

Minerals Development Act 2017 (23/2017)

Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017 (22/2017)

Prisons Act 2015 (57/2015)

National Minimum Wage (Low Pay Commission) Act 2015 (22/2015)

Workplace Relations Act 2015 (16/2015)

All Acts up to and including Data Protection Act 2018 (7/2018), enacted 24 May 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.

Statutory instruments which affect or previously affected this revision

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Sections 9(6), 10(6) and 37(8)) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 53 of 2017)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Sections 9(6), 10(6) and 37(8)) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 558 of 2016)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Section 34(6)(b)) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 452 of 2016)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Amendment of Schedule 3) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 330 of 2016)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Section 37(8)) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 218 of 2016)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Effective Date for Certain Bodies) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 148 of 2015)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Exempted Public Bodies) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 144 of 2015)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Commencement Date for Certain Bodies) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 103 of 2015)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Fees) (No. 2) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 531 of 2014)

Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Fees) Regulations 2014 (S.I. No. 484 of 2014)

All statutory instruments up to and including Data Protection Act 2018 (Establishment Day) Order 2018 (S.I. No. 175 of 2018), made 24 May 2018, were considered in the preparation of this revision.


Number 30 of 2014


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014

REVISED

Updated to 25 May 2018


CONTENTS

PART 1

Preliminary and General

Section

1. Citation and commencement

2. Interpretation

3. Regulations and orders

4. Expenses

5. Repeals

PART 2

FOI Bodies

6. Public bodies

7. Prescribed bodies

PART 3

Rights in Relation to Records

Chapter 1

General rights in relation to records and decisions

8. Publication of information about FOI bodies

9. Amendment of records relating to personal information

10. Right of person to information regarding acts of FOI bodies affecting the person

Chapter 2

FOI Requests

11. Access to records

12. Requests for access to records

13. Decisions on FOI requests and notification of decisions

14. Extension of time for consideration of FOI requests

15. Refusal on administrative grounds to grant FOI requests

16. Deferral of access to records

17. Manner of access to records

18. Access to parts of records

19. Decisions deemed to have been made in certain cases

20. Delegation of certain functions of heads

Chapter 3

Internal Review

21. Review by heads of decisions under Chapters 1 and 2

Chapter 4

Review by Information Commissioner

22. Review by Commissioner of decisions

23. Requests for further information by Commissioner

Chapter 5

Appeal to High Court

24. Appeal to High Court, etc.

Chapter 6

Miscellaneous

25. Precautions by High Court and Commissioner against disclosure of certain information

26. Stay on certain decisions

27. Fees and charges

PART 4

Exempt Records

28. Meetings of the Government

29. Deliberations of FOI bodies

30. Functions and negotiations of FOI bodies

31. Parliamentary, court and certain other matters

32. Law enforcement and public safety

33. Security, defence and international relations

34. Conclusiveness of certain decisions pursuant to sections 32 and 33

35. Information obtained in confidence

36. Commercially sensitive information

37. Personal information

38. Procedure in relation to certain FOI requests to which section 35, 36 or 37 applies

39. Research and natural resources

40. Financial and economic interests of the State

41. Enactments relating to non-disclosure of records

PART 5

Restriction of Act

42. Restriction of Act

PART 6

The Information Commissioner

43. Continuance of office of Information Commissioner

44. Review of operation of Act and investigations by Commissioner

45. Powers of Commissioner

46. Publication of commentaries by Commissioner on practical application, etc., of Act

47. Reports of Commissioner

PART 7

Miscellaneous

48. Code of practice and guidelines

49. Immunity from legal proceedings

50. Amendment of Central Bank Act 1942

51. Amendment of Official Secrets Act 1963

52. Offence and penalty

53. Proceedings for offences

54. Saver

55. Transitional provisions

SCHEDULE 1

PART 1

Partially Included Agencies

PART 2

Exempt Agencies

SCHEDULE 2

The Information Commissioner

SCHEDULE 3

Enactments Excluded from Application of Section 41

PART 1

Statutes

PART 2

Statutory Instruments

SCHEDULE 4

Repeals

PART 1

Statutes

PART 2

Statutory Instruments

SCHEDULE 5

Statutory Instruments Continuing in Force


Acts Referred to

Adoption Act 2010 (No. 21)

Agriculture (Research, Training and Advice) Act 1988 (No. 18)

Air Navigation and Transport (Amendment) Act 1998 (No. 24)

Air Pollution Act 1987 (No. 6)

An Bord Bia Act 1994 (No. 22)

Arts Act 2003 (No. 24)

Aviation Regulation Act 2001 (No. 1)

Central Bank Act 1942 (No. 22)

Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011 (No. 27)

Children Act 2001 (No. 24)

Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (No. 23)

Civil Registration Act 2004 (No. 3)

Civil Service Regulation Act 1956 (No. 46)

Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005

Comhairle Act 2000 (No. 1)

Commission To Inquire Into Child Abuse Act 2000 (No. 7)

Commissions of Investigation Act 2004 (No. 23)

Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 (No. 3)

Communications Regulation Act 2002 (No. 20)

Companies Acts

Comptroller and Auditor General Acts 1923 to 1993

Consumer Protection Act 2007 (No. 19)

Copyright and Related Rights Act 2000 (No. 28)

Coroners Act 1962 (No. 9)

Credit Reporting Act 2013 (No. 45)

Criminal Justice (Location of Victims’ Remains) Act 1999 (No. 9)

Criminal Justice (Surveillance) Act 2009 (No. 19)

Criminal Justice (Terrorist Offences) Act 2005 (No. 2)

Criminal Law (Insanity) Act 2006 (No. 11)

Data Protection Act 1988 (No. 25)

Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003

Defence Act 1954 (No. 18)

Dentists Act 1985 (No. 9)

Digital Hub Development Agency Act 2003 (No. 23)

Dublin Transport Authority Act 2008 (No. 15)

Education Act 1998 (No. 51)

Electricity Regulation Act 1999 (No. 23)

Employment Equality Acts 1998 to 2011

Environmental Protection Agency Act 1992 (No. 7)

Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2012

European Parliament Elections Act 1997 (No. 2)

Exchequer and Audit Department Acts 1866 and 1921

Family Support Agency Act 2001 (No. 54)

Food Safety Authority of Ireland Act 1998 (No. 29)

Forestry Act 1988 (No. 26)

Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 (No. 9)

Freedom of Information Act 1997 (No. 13)

Garda Síochána Act 2005 (No. 20)

Gas (Interim) (Regulation) Act 2002 (No. 10)

Gas Act 1976 (No. 30)

Harbours Act 1996 (No. 11)

Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006 (No. 17)

Health Act 1947 (No. 28)

Health Act 2004 (No. 42)

Health Act 2007 (No. 23)

Health Insurance Act 1994 (No. 16)

Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Act 2013 (No. 33)

Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002 (No. 9)

Independent Monitoring Commission Act 2003 (No. 40)

Industrial Development Act 1986 (No. 9)

Industrial Development Act 1993 (No. 19)

Industrial Relations Act 1946 (No. 26)

Industrial Relations Act 1969 (No. 14)

Industrial Relations Act 1990 (No. 19)

Industrial Relations Acts 1946 to 2012

Inland Fisheries Act 2010 (No. 10)

Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages (Regulation) Act 1993 (No. 10)

Interpretation Act 2005 (No. 23)

Irish Aviation Authority Act 1993 (No. 29)

Irish Film Board Act 1980 (No. 36)

Irish Horseracing Industry Act 1994 (No. 18)

Irish Medicines Board Act 1995 (No. 29)

Labour Services Act 1987 (No. 15)

Legal Services Ombudsman Act 2009 (No. 8)

Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926 (No. 39)

Local Government Act 2001 (No. 37)

Marine Institute Act 1991 (No. 2)

Medical Practitioners Act 2007 (No. 25)

Milk (Regulation of Supply) Act 1994 (No. 25)

Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 (No. 16)

National Archives Act 1986 (No. 11)

National Economic and Social Development Office Act 2006 (No. 21)

National Lottery Act 1986 (No. 28)

National Oil Reserves Agency Act 2007 (No. 7)

National Sports Campus Development Authority Act 2006 (No. 19)

National Tourism Development Authority Act 2003 (No. 10)

National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000 (No. 39)

National Treasury Management Agency Act 1990 (No. 18)

Nurses and Midwives Act 2011 (No. 41)

Offences Against the State Act 1939 (No. 13)

Offences against the State Acts 1939 to 1998

Official Secrets Act 1963 (No. 1)

Ombudsman (Defence Forces) Act 2004 (No. 36)

Ombudsman Act 1980 (No. 26)

Ombudsman Acts 1980 to 2012

Ombudsman for Children Act 2002 (No. 22)

Ordnance Survey Ireland Act 2001 (No. 43)

Organisation of Working Time Act 1997 (No. 20)

Pensions (Amendment) Act 2002) (No. 18)

Pensions Act 1990 (No. 25)

Pensions Acts 1990 to 2012

Personal Insolvency Act 2012 (No. 44)

Petty Sessions (Ireland) Act 1851 (4 & 5 Vict., c. 93)

Postal and Telecommunications Services Act 1983 (No. 24)

Prisons Acts 1826 to 2007

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (No. 33)

Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 (No. 28)

Radiological Protection Act 1991 (No. 9)

Railway Safety Act 2005 (No. 31)

Residential Institutions Redress Act 2002 (No. 13)

Road Safety Authority Act 2006 (No. 14)

Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2014

Roads Act 1993 (No. 14)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No. 10)

Sea-Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Act 2006 (No. 8)

Social Welfare Acts

State Authorities (Public Private Partnership Arrangements) Act 2002 (No. 1)

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 (No. 39)

Transport (Railway Infrastructure) Act 2001 (No. 55)

Transport (Re-organisation of Córas Iompair Éireann) Act 1986 (No. 31)

Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 (11 & 12 Geo. 5, c. 7)

Údarás na Gaeltachta Act 1979 (No. 5)

Veterinary Practice Act 2005 (No. 22)

Voluntary Health Insurance (Amendment) Act 1996 (No. 4)

Western Development Commission Act 1998 (No. 42)


Number 30 of 2014


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2014

REVISED

Updated to 25 May 2018


An Act to enable members of the public to obtain access, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy, to information in the possession of public bodies, other bodies in receipt of funding from the State and certain other bodies and to enable persons to have personal information relating to them in the possession of such bodies corrected and, accordingly, to provide for a right of access to records held by such bodies, for necessary exceptions to that right and for assistance to persons to enable them to exercise it, to provide for the independent review both of decisions of such bodies relating to that right and of the operation of this Act generally (including the proceedings of such bodies pursuant to this Act) and, for those purposes, to provide for the continuance of the office of Information Commissioner and to define its functions, to provide for the publication by such bodies of certain information about them relevant to the purposes of this Act, to repeal the Freedom of Information Act 1997 and the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003, to amend the Central Bank Act 1942, to amend the Official Secrets Act 1963, to repeal certain other enactments, and to provide for related matters. [14 th October, 2014]

Be it enacted by the Oireachtas as follows: