Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Information Commissioner


The Office of the Information Commissioner was set up under the terms of the
Freedom of Information Act, 1997, which came into effect in April 1998. The Information Commissioner may conduct reviews of the decisions of public bodies in relation to requests for access to information. In Ireland the Information Commissioner also holds the position of Ombudsman. The first holder of the office was Kevin Murphy, the Ombudsman. In March 2003, the Government of Ireland nominated Emily O'Reilly to be Information Commissioner (and Ombudsman).

External link

Information Commissioner (Ireland) website

United Kingdom

United Kingdom as a member of the European Union is subject to a strict regime of Data Protection.

The Data Protection Act 1984 created the post of Data Protection Registrar with whom people processing personal data had to register.

Under the provisions of EC Directive 95/46 (introduced in the UK as the Data Protection Act 1998) the name of the post was changed to the Data Protection Commissioner.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the role was expanded to include freedom of information and the job title was changed to Information Commissioner ('IC').

The current IC (who was appointed on 2 Dec 2002) is Richard Thomas. The previous incumbent was Elizabeth France.

The IC is an independent government authority and reports directly to Parliament. The role of the IC is mirrored throughout the countries of the European Union and EEA who have equivalent officials created under their versions of Directive 95/46.

The register of those who have registered with the IC is available at

The website of the IC generally is and this also gives links to his counterparts around Europe.