Preparation and Publication of Commentaries
The FOI Act provides, at Section 39, that the Commissioner may prepare and publish commentaries on the practical operation of the Act, including commentaries based on his own experience as holder of the Office of Information Commissioner.
In March 2003, a previous Commissioner (Kevin Murphy) published a commentary on his examination of the workings of those sections of the FOI Act which it was proposed to amend in the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2003. He did this by focusing on the more significant decisions which he made since April 1998 in applying and operating those sections. He did not comment on the proposed legislation, nor did he engage in public debate on the merits or demerits of the Bill which would have been inappropriate. The Constitution provides that the sole and exclusive power of making laws for the State is vested in the Oireachtas and it is the role of the Information Commissioner, in relation to the FOI Act, to implement the legislation passed by the Oireachtas in an independent and impartial manner.