Written answers

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Legislative Programme

Photo of Pádraig MacLochlainnPádraig MacLochlainn (Donegal North East, Sinn Fein)
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To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when he will introduce the Freedom of Information Bill 2012 in the Dáil. [17839/13]

Photo of Brendan HowlinBrendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
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In July 2012 the Government approved the drafting by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel of a Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) on the basis of the General Scheme of a Bill. The General Scheme was also published at that time and was submitted to the Oireachtas Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee for a pre-legislative scrutiny process.

As the Deputy will be aware the purpose of the Bill is to address the main substantive restrictions in access to official information introduced in 2003, to extend Freedom of Information to all public bodies, to provide a framework for the extension of FOI to non-public bodies in receipt of significant funding from the Exchequer as well as to consolidate, modernise and update the legislation, including in light of detailed recommendations made by the Information Commissioner.

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