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Dublin: 2 °C Saturday 29 February, 2020

Information Commissioner welcomes Freedom of Information reform

However Emily O’Reilly said “the devil will be in the detail” when the new legislation is published.

Information Commissioner Emily O'Reilly
Information Commissioner Emily O'Reilly
Image: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland

INFORMATION COMMISSIONER EMILY O’Reilly has welcomed the government’s plans to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information act.

Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland O’Reilly said the devil would be in the detail and “until we see the legislation we won’t know just how deep the penetration goes into accountability and transparency”.

The government has proposed to extend the act to include the Gardaí, NAMA and several other public bodies that were not previously covered.

Yesterday Brendan Howlin said the new laws may also see bodies which get public support – like banks – subject to information requests.

O’Reilly said she hoped the hostility towards the act in the past would not continue and that the “genuine enthusiasm” shown by the government would trickle down to the decision makers.

As part of the reform, the cost of appeals will also be reduced with the price for an appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner dropping from €150 to €50.

“I think that is very important because that did serve as a significant barrier towards people appealing their initial rejection for records,” she said.

Read: Banks could be subject to Freedom of Information requests under new regime

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