Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform, Seán Fleming TD, has welcomed confirmation by the Government that it has accepted a Fianna Fáil bill on the Freedom of Information (FOI).
In July, Deputy Fleming put forward the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2012 before the Dáil during Private Members Business, which was accepted in principle by the Government.
Deputy Fleming commented: “I very much welcome confirmation from Minister Brendan Howlin that he has drafted legislation on extending the remit of the FOI Act to include the suggestions under my Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill.
“I launched the Bill during Private Members’ Business in July in what was a hugely successful debate. I was delighted to achieve cross-party support for the legislation. Speakers from opposition and Government benches spoke and now Minister Howlin has launched the general scheme of a bill to reform the FOI legislation.
“The Minister has undertaken to include An Garda Síochána, the NTMA, NAMA, the Central Bank of Ireland and the Vocational Educational Committee in the new FOI legislation, which were all included in the Fianna Fáil bill.
“The General Scheme of the bill has now been referred to the Oireachtas Committee on Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. I am a member of this committee and we will fully debate this and put forward suggestions, which the Minister will take on board.
“I look forward to seeing the Bill officially published this year and it will mark a significant moment in the reform of our public institutions.”