Implications for public bodies including RTÉ under the Freedom of Information Act.

The new Freedom of Information Act which came into effect at midnight on the 30 April 2000.

The purpose of the act is to increase the public accountability of government departments and state bodies. RTÉ is the only broadcaster to be subject to the act as it does not apply to independent television and radio stations, or the newspapers. The act will also now cover universities.

RTÉ News hears from Peter Feeney, Freedom of Information Officer at RTÉ, and Gerry Smyth, Senior Inspector, Office of Information Commissioner.

The regulations under the act will give RTÉ exemption in its editorial processes, in the making of programmes and news bulletins.

Requests for information can be made in writing stating clearly that the request is being made under the FOI Act. All requests should provide sufficient detail for the request to be processed.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 30 April 2000. The reporter is Colm Connolly.