Practice Areas Freedom of Information
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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 grants every person a right, subject to certain restrictions, to access their own data or official records held by government departments and other public bodies as defined under the act. It also provides for the right to have personal information rectified or updated where such information is incomplete or incorrect and the right to give reasons for decisions taken by public bodies affected by those decisions.

When a public body covered by the Freedom of Information Acts receives a request from a person for their own information, it is required to also consider the request under the General Data Protection Regulation and give the person the maximum amount of their information taking account the provisions of both sets of legislation. Balancing the requirements of both Acts requires experience, know-how and careful consideration.

Freedom of information group

Our highly experienced Freedom of Information Group provides specialised advice to the public and private sectors on all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations. We provide expert advice to our clients on all aspects of Freedom of Information requests, including the application of the exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act and grounds for non-disclosure. We also advise individuals on formulating requests under the Freedom of Information Act. We are particularly experienced in dealing with sensitive issues such as requests for information made to the health authorities or to public bodies in the context of contentious engagements with members of the public or employees. These are extremely delicate matters and require prudent and informed consideration which we provide to our clients on an ongoing basis.

Freedom of information services

We cover all aspects of freedom of information (FOI) including:

  • Advising on FOI requests and possible exemptions
  • Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations
  • Dealing with FOI requests where a DSAR is also made
  • Advising on the implications of decisions made by the Information Commissioner
  • Freedom of information audits/gap analysis
  • Third party consultation under section 38 of the FOI Act
  • Advising on requests for reasons for decisions
  • Advising public bodies on internal review applications
  • Appeals to the Information Commissioner or Commissioner for Environmental Information
  • High Court appeals
  • Confidentiality, disclosure and privileged information
  • Advising on implications of disclosure, whether voluntary or by agreement