Access to information held by central or local government departments and semi-state bodies is a fundamental right in any
democracy. Transparency in the way we are governed - and how public money is spent - should be a basic tenet in any political
system. Unfortunately, that principal has not always been upheld in Ireland. Written in clear and understandable language,
"Secrets of the State...and How to Get Them" is a practical guide for anyone who wants to get information held by local authorities,
government departments or other state bodies, here or overseas. It takes readers step-by-step through the process of submitting
requests under the Freedom of Information Act and the lesser known Accessing Information on the Environment regulations. Written
by one of the country's leading experts on Freedom of Information, RTE Correspondent Richard Dowling, this is the definitive
guide on accessing State-held information. It offers non-legalistic interpretation of these laws and how to use them. There
is no book like this on the Irish market. Every year around 15,000 FOI requests are submitted, though not all are successful
for a variety of reasons.
In this book, Richard Dowling shows the reader the correct procedure for submitting a request
so that many more people will be able to access information they're entitled to, and in so doing help to lift the shroud of
secrecy that is still ever present in the Irish civil service. "Secrets of the State...and How to Get Them" will be invaluable
for environmental organisations, community groups, political activists and grass roots campaigners, as well as for businesses
and individuals of all kinds who want access to State-held information.