FoI in Ireland: FoI requests drop by 42%

Freedom of Information requests have declined by a staggering 42pc since fees were imposed five years ago, a new report concluded yesterday.

And last night there were calls to slash the "punitive fees" on representative groups, journalists and members of the public making applications under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the Tenth Report on the Freedom of Information Act, the number of requests to some 500 public bodies, including government departments, amounted to 10,704 last year, a decrease of 10pc on 2006, and 42pc since fees were imposed in 2003.

Members of the public made 80pc of the requests for information, while journalists accounted for 8pc, compared to 77pc and 10pc respectively in 2006.

While 76pc of requests to local authorities and 42pc of requests to central government bodies covered non-personal information, the overwhelming majority of requests (91pc) to the HSE covered personal information.

Calls to end FoI fees after drop in requests (, 3 November 2008)