Freedom of Information Act 2014

10.

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

10. (1) The head of an FOI body shall, on application to him or her in that behalf, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, by a person who is affected by an act of the body and has a material interest in a matter affected by the act or to which it relates, not later than 4 weeks after the receipt of the application, cause a statement, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, to be given to the person—

(a) of the reasons for the act, and

(b) of any findings on any material issues of fact made for the purposes of the act.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed as requiring—

(a) the giving to a person of information contained in a record which would fall to be refused as an exempt record, or

(b) the disclosure of the existence or non-existence of a record if the non-disclosure of its existence or non-existence is required by this Act.

(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply to—

(a) a decision of the Public Appointments Service or other licence holder concerned under section 24(8) of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004, not to accept a person as qualified for a position referred to in that section, or

(b) a decision of the Chief Executive of the Public Appointments Service made by virtue of section 7 of the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act 1926, not to recommend a person to a local authority for appointment to an office referred to in that section,

if, in the opinion of the head concerned, the giving of a statement under subsection (1) in relation to the decision would be likely to prejudice the effectiveness of the process for selecting a person for appointment to the position or office.

(4) If, pursuant to subsection (2) or (3), the head of an FOI body decides not to cause a statement to be given under subsection (1) to a person, the head shall, not later than 4 weeks after the receipt of the application concerned under subsection (1), cause notice, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, of the decision to be given to the person.

(5) For the purposes of this section a person has a material interest in a matter affected by an act of an FOI body or to which such an act relates if the consequence or effect of the act may be to confer on, or withhold from, the person a benefit without also conferring it on or withholding it from persons in general or a class of persons which is of significant size having regard to all the circumstances and of which the person is a member.

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may provide by regulations for the making of an application under that subsection—

(a) by the parent or guardian of a person referred to in that subsection if the person belongs to a class specified in the regulations, or

(b) in a case where such a person is dead, by a member of a class specified in the regulations.

(7) A head to whom a request is made under this section may refuse to grant the request if the request is, in the opinion of the head, frivolous or vexatious, or forms part of a pattern of manifestly unreasonable requests from the same requester or from different requesters who, in the opinion of the head, appear to have made the requests acting in concert.

(8) A head shall cause the receipt by him or her of an application under this section to be notified to the applicant in the manner specified in section 12(2) .

(9) In the case of a decision to refuse to grant an application under this section the notice under subsection (4) in relation to the decision shall comply with section 13(2)(d) .

(10) An application under this section shall be expressed to be such an application.

(11) Notwithstanding subsection (10), where an FOI body receives either—

(a) an application which purports to be an application under this section but which is not in the proper form, or

(b) an application which does not purport to be an application under this section but which applies for the information access to which can be obtained only by way of an application under this section,

the head shall assist, or offer to assist, the individual in the preparation of an application under this section.

(12) (a) An application under this section shall be made within 12 months after the date on which the person who is affected by the act becomes aware of it.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), where the particular circumstances warrant it, the head may accept an application outside the time limit specified in that paragraph.

(13) In this section—

“act”, in relation to an FOI body, includes a decision (other than a decision under this Act) of the body;

“act of an FOI body” means any act taken on or after the effective date by the FOI body concerned;

“benefit”, in relation to a person, includes—

(a) any advantage to the person,

(b) in respect of an act of an FOI body done at the request of the person, any consequence or effect thereof relating to the person, and

(c) the avoidance of a loss, liability, penalty, forfeiture, punishment or other disadvantage affecting the person.

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E13

Power pursuant to subs. (6) exercised (17.02.2017) by Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Sections 9(6), 10(6) and 37(8)) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 53 of 2017).

E14

Previous affecting provision: power pursuant to section exercised (10.11.2016) by Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Sections 9(6), 10(6) and 37(8)) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 558 of 2016); revoked (17.02.2017) by Freedom of Information Act 2014 (Sections 9(6), 10(6) and 37(8)) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 53 of 2017), reg. 3(1), subject to transitional provision in para. (2).