Freedom of Information Act, 1997

Deliberations of public bodies.

20.—(1) A head may refuse to grant a request under section 7

(a) if the record concerned contains matter relating to the deliberative processes of the public body concerned (including opinions, advice, recommendations, and the results of consultations, considered by the body, the head of the body, or a member of the body or of the staff of the body for the purpose of those processes), and

(b) the granting of the request would, in the opinion of the head, be contrary to the public interest,

and, without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (b), the head shall, in determining whether to grant or refuse to grant the request, consider whether the grant thereof would be contrary to the public interest by reason of the fact that the requester concerned would thereby become aware of a significant decision that the body proposes to make.

(2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a record if and in so far as it contains—

(a) matter used, or intended to be used, by a public body for the purpose of making decisions, determinations or recommendations referred to in section 16 ,

(b) factual (including statistical) information and analyses thereof,

(c) the reasons for the making of a decision by a public body,

(d) a report of an investigation or analysis of the performance, efficiency or effectiveness of a public body in relation to the functions generally or a particular function of the body,

(e) a report, study or analysis of a scientific or technical expert relating to the subject of his or her expertise or a report containing opinions or advice of such an expert and not being a report used or commissioned for the purposes of a decision of a public body made pursuant to any enactment or scheme.