Freedom of Information

Our Freedom of Information Group gives specialist advice on all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act and other access regimes.

Our expertise:

We advise on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 and the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations, as well as on other legislation governing access to records held by public bodies. We advise public bodies on their legislative obligations and advise private sector clients on their interaction with public bodies and the potential impact of the FOI Act and AIE Regulations on their own records.

Key areas:

Our work in this area covers:

  • Advice on access requests and possible exemptions
  • Advising on requests for reasons for decisions
  • Advising commercial entities on their dealings with public bodies, including the protection of commercially sensitive and confidential information and the implications of the freedom of information regime
  • Compliance advice for public bodies, including publication obligations under the FOI Act
  • Freedom of information and record retention audits to determine what records need to be retained by public bodies
  • Drafting of submissions to public bodies on behalf of clients, including Section 38 submissions
  • Assisting public bodies and private sector clients on Internal review, Information Commissioner and High Court appeals
  • Advice on access to information on the environment regulations and other public access legislation

Key highlights include advising:

Our experience includes advising:

  • Central Bank of Ireland on the application of the new freedom of information regime. We delivered bespoke training to decision-makers within the Bank on the implications of the FOI Act 2014 and developed (with Public Affairs Ireland) a corresponding FOI e-learning module. Advising the Central Bank of Ireland on the parameters of the FOI Act, its partial exemption and relevant exemptions in respect of FOI Act requests for access to records and/or reasons for decisions
  • Commission for Communications Regulation on FOI requests, including requests from newspapers. We also advised the Commission on appropriate exemptions which might apply under the FOI Act, requirements in respect of the consultation procedure under the previous and existing FOI Act and reviewing FOI decision letters
  • ESB Networks on its remit under the FOI Act 2014 regime and provided bespoke training to its staff arising from its remit within the freedom of information regime. We have also advised ESB on requests made under the FOI Act 2014 and on the AIE Regulations
  • Gas Networks Ireland and Ervia on the application of the new freedom of information regime. We also drafted submissions on behalf of Ervia and Gas Networks Ireland in order to secure exemptions or partial exemptions from the application of FOI
  • Irish Water on compliance with the FOI Act and Access to Information on the Environment Regulations. Specifically we have advised on (i) the drafting of submissions on its behalf to the Department in connection with the application of FOI to Irish Water, (ii) publication and other compliance obligations under FOI; and (iii) access requests

Key contacts

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