We have prepared sample questions to ask public bodies when we review their decisions.
When answering these questions, public bodies should use our guidance notes on the Freedom of Information Act. Please note that these questions are not legally binding. They are intended to provide guidance.
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  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.