Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (27)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

27. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to remove secrecy provisions in legislation which prevents the release of information under the Freedom of Information Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29678/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware, non-disclosure provisions in other Acts override provisions in the Freedom of Information Act 1997, unless such provisions are listed in Schedule 3 of the FOI Act in which case they are subordinate to FOI.

Under Section 32 of the FOI Act 1997, the Oireachtas Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee has the power to review the operations of these provisions from time to time with a view to recommending whether they should be amended or repealed. If it is recommended that they should continue in force, the Committee has the power to recommend whether they should override FOI or whether they should be included in Schedule 3. It is understood that this review is currently underway within the Committee.

Pending the outcome of the review and consideration of the Committee’s recommendations, I am not proposing to list any further non-disclosure provisions in Schedule 3 of the FOI Act.