The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was implemented for Government Departments and other public sector agencies from 21 April 1998. The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon came under the Act in late October 2000.
The FOI Act establishes three new statutory rights:
- a legal right for each person to access information held by public bodies;
- a legal right for each person to have official information relating to him/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
- a legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting oneself (refers only to decisions taken on or after the Act applied to the Arts Council).
The Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information in possession of the Arts Council to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right of privacy of individuals.
The FOI Act is designed to allow public access to information held by public bodies which is NOT routinely available through other sources. Access to information under the Act is subject to certain exemptions and involves specific procedures and time limits.
Freedom of Information Manuals
The Arts Council is currently updating its two Freedom of Information Manuals (Section 15 Reference Book, Functions and Records, and Section 16 Reference Book, Rules and Practices).