Section 23 Statutory Notices

Sections 13(2)(d) and 21(5)(c) of the FOI Act require FOI bodies to give reasons for the refusal of an FOI request, whether in whole or in part. Specifically, the body’s decision must contain the reasons for the refusal and*

  • any provision of the Act pursuant to which the request is refused,
  • the findings on any material issues relevant to the decision, and
  • particulars of any matter relating to the public interest taken into consideration for the purposes of the decision.

(*unless the refusal is based on a refusal to confirm or deny provision contained in the Act)

It is not sufficient for an FOI body to simply quote or paraphrase the words of the particular exemptions relied upon when refusing a request. The decision should show a connection, supported by a chain of reasoning, between the decision maker’s findings and the decision.

Detailed guidance for decision makers is available on the website of the Central Policy Unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (, and includes template decision letters.

Where the Commissioner considers that the statement of reasons given by FOI bodies in their decisions is inadequate, he will, under section 23 of the Act, direct the Head of the body to provide a fuller statement that complies with the provisions of section 13(2)(d). We refer to these directions as section 23 Notices. Details of section 23 notices issued are published here on a quarterly basis.

Period Case Reference FOI Body
Q1 2023



Trinity College Dublin

Dublin City Council

Q2 2023





Louth County Council

Department of Foreign Affairs

Health Service Executive

Health Service Executive

Q3 2023









Department of Social Protection

Housing Agency

Health Service Executive

Tailte Éireann

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

Health Service Executive

South Dublin County Council

South Dublin County Council

Q4 2023



Department of Environment, Climate and Communications

Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission