Freedom Of Information Legislation Extended To All Public Bodies

Freedom of Information legislation will be extended to all public bodies including An Garda Síochána and the Central Bank, the government has announced.

The legislation will all now cover bodies in receipt of substantial Government funding.

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin told the Dáil that the Government was looking to broaden the legislation beyond what was proposed in a Fianna Fáil private members bill.

Fianna Fáil's Sean Fleming proposed a maximum search and retrival charge for records of €500 and he wanted NAMA and the NTMA to come under the FOI's remit.

Fianna Fáil’s bill had been criticised however, with Sinn Féin's Mary Lou McDonald saying that in 2003 FF had "butchered" the original 1997 Act.

Responding, Mr Howlin said expanded Freedom of Information legislation would include all statutory bodies and it would break new ground to include all bodies that receive substantial state funding.

The administrative functions of An Garda Siochana would be included, subject to security exemptions. There would be restrictions on disclosures required of the Central Bank.

Also new state agencies, such as Irish Water, will also be included in the legislation which can be expected next year.


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