We have prepared guidance notes which show how we interpret and apply the Freedom of Information Act.

We hope that they help you to understand our approach when we review decisions by public bodies.

  • Please note that these guidance notes are not legally binding. Each case will depend on its own facts.
  • Please also ensure that you are using an up-to-date version of the guidance notes. We amend them from time to time.


NOTE: Section 22(12)(b) of the FOI ACT 2014 provides that in a review by the Commissioner, a decision to refuse to grant an FOI request shall be presumed not to have been justified unless the head concerned shows to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that the decision was justified. In its judgment of 6 March 2019 in The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources v the Information Commissioner [2019] IECA 68, the Court of Appeal found that the Commissioner had applied the presumption in section 22(12)(b) on an incorrect legal basis in Case 150062. However, the correct legal basis for applying section 22(12)(b) is not clear from the judgment. The Commissioner has decided to petition the Supreme Court for leave to appeal the judgment. In the interim, users of this guidance should treat all references to the presumption as set out in section 22(12)(b) with caution until the matter is clarified.

Further information

Do you want more guidance on the Information Commissioner's approach to applying the Freedom of Information Act?

Please see our Decisions

Please see our Sample Questions

Do you have any questions about the Guidance Notes? Please contact us.