Government to announce review of freedom of information legislation

Michael McGrath expected to set out new commission at conference on Thursday

The legislation governing freedom of information was last updated in 2014 by the then minister for public expenditure Brendan Howlin. Photograph: iStock

The legislation governing freedom of information was last updated in 2014 by the then minister for public expenditure Brendan Howlin. Photograph: iStock

 

The Government is expected to commission a review of the operation of the existing freedom of information legislation.

An announcement is likely to be made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Michael McGrath at a seminar on freedom of information to take place on Thursday which is being organised by his department.

It is expected that Mr McGrath will propose a new review process which would include personnel in the public service, academia, activists, journalists, and other stakeholders. It would also seek submissions from the general public.

The Minister is likely to point to record numbers of freedom of information requests being submitted to public bodies over recent years.

The legislation governing freedom of information was last updated in 2014 by the then minister for public expenditure Brendan Howlin. The 2014 legislation, among other reforms, removed the requirement for a €15 application fee for non-personal freedom of information requests.

Existing freedom of information legislation provides for the the right to access official records held by Government departments or other public bodies as defined by the act.

It also sets out the right of individuals to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading as well as the the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.