Sinn Féin TD for Cork-North Central Jonathan O’Brien has described today’s Annual Report by the Information Commissioner as a stark warning for the public right to information, and has called .
Speaking today, Teachta O’Brien said:
“Today’s report about the state of Freedom of Information in 2018 has revealed a steady decline in the public’s access to information.
“The percentage of FOI requests refused by public bodies has increased by 50% in the past 5 years, with the less than half of requests being granted.
“This sets as a dangerous precedent for the future of FOI and the public right to know.
“The report also warns of the number of public bodies dragging their heels and making decisions on requests within the permitted timeframe.
“The findings of this report come after a number of cases have thrown the future of FOI and the public right to know into doubt. Transparency is in the interests of everyone, and the public right to know should not be diminished in any way.
“We call for additional resources to be given to public bodies to ensure full compliance with the Act. In addition to this, we will be bringing forward legislation to hardwire the public right to know into the Act. Accountability requires transparency.”