Written answers

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Freedom of Information

10:00 pm

Photo of Patrick NultyPatrick Nulty (Dublin West, Labour)
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Question 245: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if legislation will be brought forward to extend the remit of the Freedom of Information Act to include the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27490/12]

Photo of Dominic HanniganDominic Hannigan (Meath East, Labour)
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Question 265: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when he expects to publish his revised Freedom of Information Act; the way it differs to the previous amended Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27339/12]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 245 and 265 together.

The restoration and extension of Freedom of Information (FOI) aims, in line with the Programme for Government commitment, to reverse the substantive restrictions to FOI introduced in 2003 and to extend FOI to all public bodies, including the administrative functions of the Garda Síochána (subject to security exceptions) as well as to non-statutory bodies in receipt of significant funding from the Exchequer.

The current position is that significant work has been undertaken by my Department to examine and assess the key next steps and priorities relating to the implementation of these commitments. My Department is currently considering the responses it has received from other government departments in respect of proposals in this area. It is planned to bring proposals to Government in the coming weeks to secure approval to draft amending FOI legislation. Extension of the remit of the Freedom of Information Act to include the National Asset Management Agency will be considered by Government in this context.

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