Views on info access regime sought

December 6, 2018

A public consultation on reforming the access to information regime was launched today.


The Access to Information Sub-committee of the Law Reform Commission released a consultation paper to invite public views on whether reform of the current access to information regime is needed, and if so, what kind of reform is preferred.


Currently, access to government-held information is based on an administrative regime set out in a code which has been in operation since 1995.


Sub-committee Chairman Russell Coleman said their provisional views are that although the existing code is effective and cost-efficient, legislation should be introduced to implement an access to information regime with statutory backing.


The sub-committee has studied the law and practice of other common law jurisdictions.


It found that people’s need to obtain more information about public bodies should be balanced with privacy and data-protection rights and third-party rights.


Mr Coleman added the proposed legislative regime would have exempt information categorised into absolute and qualified exemptions, like most common law jurisdictions.


The sub-committee also tentatively recommended that the proposed regime should have certain review and appeal stages.


The consultation will end on March 5.


Views can be sent by email.


Click here for the consultation document.

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