Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Act 2012


Prohibition of unauthorised disclosure of information.

23.— (1) In this section “confidential information” means information that refers to a former resident or that could reasonably lead to the identification of a former resident.

(2) Except in the circumstances specified in subsection (3) a person shall not disclose confidential information obtained by him or her while performing or as a result of having performed functions as—

(a) a member of the Board or a committee of the Board,

(b) the chief executive or any other employee of the Board,

(c) a person engaged by the Board to provide consultancy, advice or other services to the Board,

(d) a person with whom the Board makes an arrangement for the provision of approved services,

(e) a liaison officer,

(f) an appeals officer or any staff of the appeals officer, or

(g) an employee of a person referred to in paragraph (c) or (d).

(3) A person does not contravene subsection (2) by disclosing confidential information if the disclosure—

(a) is made to or authorised by the Board,

(b) is made to the Garda Síochána where the person is acting in good faith and reasonably believes that such disclosure is necessary in order to prevent an act or omission constituting a serious offence,

(c) is made to an appropriate person (within the meaning of the Protections for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998) where the person is acting in good faith and reasonably believes that such disclosure is necessary to prevent, reduce or remove a substantial risk to life or to prevent the continuance of abuse of a child,

(d) is in compliance with this Act, or

(e) is required by law or an enactment other than this Act.

(4) Nothing in subsection (2) shall prevent the disclosure of confidential information to a former resident to whom that information relates.

(5) A person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence and is liable—

(a) on summary conviction to a class C fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €13,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years, or to both.

(6) In subsection (3)(b) “serious offence” means an offence for which a person of full age and capacity and not previously convicted may be punished by imprisonment for a term of 5 years or by a more severe penalty.