Freedom of Information – Highlights of the Annual Report of the Information Commissioner

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the introduction of freedom of information legislation in Ireland.  In its recently published Annual Report for 2018 (the “Report”), the Office of the Information Commissioner (“OIC”) notes that the number of requests received by public bodies under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (“FOI Act”) has increased by almost a third in the past three years.  However, the Report also highlights a number of issues concerning the operation of the FOI Act, and in particular comments on the “unacceptable” failure of public bodies to issue decisions to FOI requests within the specified time period.  Public bodies and those making requests will be interested in the outcome of the OIC’s current investigation into compliance with the relevant deadlines for responding to requests under the FOI Act.