Freedom of Information
At George V. Maloney & Co. Solicitors we assist public bodies in responding to Freedom of Information requests (FOI request) they have received and we also advise individuals on formulating requests under the Freedom of Information Acts.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014, everyone has the right to:
- access records relating to them held by public bodies (and some other bodies who receive significant public funds) unless specifically exempt;
- have information relating to them amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and
- to obtain reasons for decisions which affect them.
These rights also apply to parents/guardians of a minor or disabled person and by the next of kin or personal representative of a deceased person.
Access to this requested information can be limited due to the following:
- Exempt records: information obtained in confidence, commercially sensitive information and personal information requested by third parties;
- Sensitive medical, psychiatric or social work records: disclosure to the person concerned may be prejudicial to the health or emotional well-being of the person making the request (instead the records are released to an appropriate health professional nominated by the requester).
Decisions may be appealed to a higher authority within the body and/or to the Information Commissioner. A decision of the Information Commissioner may be appealed to the High Court on a point of law.
Where a public body receives a FOI request they are required to give the person the maximum amount of information possible and to consider the request in light of data protection legislation. George V. Maloney & Co. Solicitors can assist your business in the steps involved in responding to FOI requests.