31.—(1) A head may refuse
to grant a request (including a request made before
the passing of this Act) under section 7 of the
Freedom of Information Act, 1997 (‘‘a
request’’), if access to the records
concerned could, in the opinion of the head, reasonably
be expected to prejudice the effectiveness of
the performance of its functions by the Board
or the Review Committee or the procedures or methods
employed for such performance.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply
in relation to a case in which in the opinion
of the head concerned the public interest would,
on balance, be better served by granting than
by refusing to grant the request concerned.
(3) Before forming the opinion referred to in
subsection (1) or (2), a head shall consult with
(4) In this section, ‘‘head’’,
‘‘public body’’ and ‘‘record’’
have the meanings assigned to them by section
2 of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997.