Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (25)

Niall Collins

Question:

25. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to restrict public private partnerships from the full terms of the proposed freedom of information legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42481/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Freedom of Information Bill 2013, which I am currently sponsoring, passed Second Stage in the Dail last Thursday (3 October 2013). Section 40(1) of the Bill as currently drafted, provides that access to a record may be withheld if its release could have a serious adverse effect on the ability of the Government to manage the national economy or financial interests of the State, could result in undue disturbance of the ordinary course of business, could reasonably be expected to have a negative impact on decisions by enterprises to invest or expand in the State or could reasonably be expected to result in an unwarranted benefit or loss to a person or class of person. Section 40(2) lists a range of records to which subsection (1) applies and includes records relating to advising on or managing PPPs. The section does not restrict access to such records automatically but only in the circumstances where the grounds in Section 40(1) as I have set out above apply.