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Powers of the Information Commissioner

The FOI Act 2014 provides the Information Commissioner with significant powers to allow him to carry out his function of reviewing the decisions of FOI bodies. If he considers a decision to be inadequate, he may, under Section 23, require that a new one be issued.

Under Section 45, he may also require any person who he considers has information relevant to a case or investigation to provide it to him. Furthermore, he may require the person to attend before him to present the information. He can enter any premises occupied by an FOI body and require any person found on the premises to provide him with records (documents) which he may copy and retain for a reasonable period.

Anyone who hinders the Commissioner in the performance of his review or investigative functions is guilty of an offence and, in accordance with Section 45, may have a fine imposed or be imprisoned for a term not more than 6 months.