Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Questions (158)

Barry Cowen


158. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the date of each review and revision of the material published under the publication scheme of his Department as outlined in section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48211/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires public bodies to have a Publication Scheme.  My Department’s Publication Scheme is available at The information published in the scheme is, where possible, made available on the Department’s website or through links to other websites and individual elements are reviewed periodically as changes arise.

My Department has recently undertaken an extensive programme of organisational change. A central element of this programme has been to deliver greater openness around our work and improve the Department's approach to public engagement. To this end a dedicated Transparency function has been established within my Department. This function provides a focal point for information management and will proactively determine where there is a need for information to be communicated or published.

The Department’s approach to Freedom of Information is consistent with this goal of enhanced openness, and a review of FOI processes is currently underway to ensure that the Department achieves best-in-class standards. This review incorporates an evaluation of the current model in place for dealing Freedom of Information requests and how to adapt or revise this model in the context of the new Departmental structure. The Publication Scheme will be also be reviewed in this context, and the Department is currently in the process of reviewing its broader online presence.