Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires FOI bodies to prepare and publish a scheme concerning the publication of information by the body in conformity with a model publication scheme or guidelines made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. This allows for the publication or giving of records outside of FOI provided that such publication or giving of access is not prohibited by law. The scheme commits FOI bodies to make information available as part of their normal business activities in accordance with the scheme. The Publication Scheme must be made publicly available by 14th April, 2016. There is no requirement to provide information retrospectively, rather current information from the date of publication of the scheme or as otherwise indicated.
The Act requires that in preparing, reviewing or revising a publication scheme, an FOI body shall have regard to the public interest in:
(a) allowing public access to information held by the FOI body;
(b) the publication of reasons for decisions made by the FOI body; and
(c) publishing information of relevance or interest to the general public in relation to its activities and functions generally.