Freedom Of Information
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 was signed into law on 14th October 2014 and replaces the FOI Acts 1997 and 2003.
Rights under the FOI Act
Under the FOI Act 2014 individuals are entitled to apply for access to information held in records that are not otherwise publically available to them.
The Freedom of Information Act establishes three key rights, and each individual has a legal right to:
• Access information held in records by public bodies;
• Right of any member of the public to amend official records containing personal information relating to him/herself where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
• Obtain reasons for decisions affecting oneself taken by a public body
The Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals.
The new Act also widened the range of bodies to which the FOI legislations applies, all public bodies are include, unless specifically exempt. The Act also allows for the Government to prescribe (or designate) other bodies receiving significant public funds, so that the FOI legislation applies to them also.