Ireland Amendments Extend Reach of FOI Law

15 October 2014

Revisions to the freedom of information law signed Oct. 14 by the Irish president will bring more public bodies under the Irish FOI umbrella.

The new legislation, known as the Freedom of Information Act, 2014, will apply to:

  • An Garda Síochána, the Irish police force.
  • Public financial bodies, including NAMA, the National Asset Management Agency established in December 2009 to address the serious problems which arose in Ireland’s banking sector as the result of excessive property lending.
  • The Central Bank.

Information Commissioner Peter Tyndall welcomed the elimination of the €15 application fee for FOI requests and the extension of FOI law to all public bodies.

Members of the public should be able to make an application to the Garda in the new year, but only administrative files can be requested. Sensitive files relating to security or intelligence matters will not be covered.

Tyndall was quoted as saying he and his staff expect to be busy when NAMA is covered by the new legislation.

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