Freedom of Information Act 2014

31.

Parliamentary, court and certain other matters

31. (1) A head shall refuse to grant an FOI request if the record concerned—

(a) would be exempt from production in proceedings in a court on the ground of legal professional privilege,

(b) is such that the head knows or ought reasonably to have known that its disclosure would constitute contempt of court, or

(c) consists of—

(i) the private papers of a member of the European Parliament or a member of a local authority, or

(ii) opinions, advice, recommendations, or the results of consultations, considered by—

(I) either House of the Oireachtas or the Chairman or Deputy Chairman or any other member of either such House or a member of the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service for the purposes of the proceedings at a sitting of either such House, or

(II) a committee appointed by either such House or jointly by both such Houses and consisting of members of either or both of such Houses or a member of such a committee or a member of the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service for the purposes of the proceedings at a meeting of such a committee.

(2) A head may refuse to grant an FOI request if the record concerned relates to the appointment or proposed appointment, or the business or proceedings, of—

(a) a tribunal to which the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Act 1921 applies,

(b) any other tribunal or other body or individual appointed by the Government or a Minister of the Government to inquire into specified matters at least one member, or the sole member, of which holds or has held judicial office or is a barrister or a solicitor, or

(c) any tribunal or other body or individual appointed by either or both of the Houses of the Oireachtas to inquire into specified matters,

and the request is made at a time when it is proposed to appoint the tribunal, body or individual or at a time when the performance of the functions of the tribunal, body or individual has not been completed.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a record in so far as it relates to the general administration of, or of any offices of, a tribunal or other body or an individual specified in that subsection.

(4) Where an FOI request relates to a record to which subsection (1) (a) applies, or would, if the record existed, apply, and the head concerned is satisfied that the disclosure of the existence or non-existence of the record would be contrary to the public interest, he or she shall refuse to grant the request and shall not disclose to the requester concerned whether or not the record exists.