What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 was signed into law on 14 October 2014 and replaces the FOI Acts 1997 and 2003.
Rights Under the Act
Under the FOI Act 2014, individuals are entitled to apply for access to information held in records that are not otherwise publically available.
The FOI Act provides, that from the effective date, every person has the following legal rights:
- the right to access official records held by Government Departments or other public bodies as defined by the act.
- the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
- the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.
Regulations provide that parents, guardians and next-of-kin may apply to exercise these rights in certain circumstances.
These rights mean that people can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created, and to other records created after the effective date.