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:  On 25 September 2020 the Supreme Court delivered its judgments in the cases of The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources v The Information Commissioner and University College Cork v The Information Commissioner.  These judgments have implications for the Commissioner’s reviews of decisions by FOI bodies and are being carefully considered by the Commissioner.  The guidance provided here is subject to the implications of these judgments and users of this guidance should bear this in mind. 

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.