I move amendment No. 1:
In page 8, between lines 2 and 3, to insert the following:
“(5) For the avoidance of doubt the Office shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2014 as a public body.”.
The Minister of State is aware that we had some discussion about this amendment on Committee Stage. We were of a mind to resubmit this on Report Stage, which we did. The purpose of the amendment is to ensure there is no ambiguity at all in respect of the national shared services office, and that they be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Those of us who had to deal with NAMA and other bodies over a long period, trying to get information from them under freedom of information, FOI, requests, will know that we must be absolutely certain that there is not too much, or considerable, leeway given to the Accounting Officers or those within those organisations regarding freedom of information. We want absolute clarity and absolute certainty and, notwithstanding what the Minister of State said to us on Committee Stage, for the avoidance of doubt the national shared services office shall be subject to the Freedom of Information Act as a public body.