Friday, June 23, 2006

Ireland - Decisions from the Office of the Information Commissioner

It is also interesting to track the Information Commissioner's decisions made in Ireland under their Freedom of Information Act (1997), as there are some broadly comparable parts of the legislation with regard to application of the public interest test against certain exemptions. The Irish regime was immplemented some years ahead of the UK regime. The Irish FOIA however is a dual access regime which also covers access to personal data. The number of requests for non-personal information are relativley low due to much harsher fee structure (for requests, internal reviews and ICO appeals). The Irish FOIA is also less broad in sector coverage (though this has been recently extended somewhat to cover further bodies) and did not offer retrospective coverage of records created after the commencement of the Act.

Worth reading the decisions below, the The Sunday Times and the Department of Finance case for example has some interesting parallels with S35 and S36 of FOIA here.

Decision: Case 050287 - Ms. X v the Department of Education and Science

Decision: Case 040419 - Mr X and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform

Decision: Case 040097 - The Sunday Times and the Department of Finance

Decision: Case 040140 - Ms X and the Health Service Executive North Eastern Area

Decision: Case 040333 - Mr. X and the Defence Forces

Decision: Case 020614
- Sunday Tribune and the Department of Education & Science

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