Open Data Directive

The Open Data Directive (EU) 2019/1024 was transposed into Irish law by SI 376/2021 on July 22nd 2021. The overall objective of the Directive is to continue the strengthening of the EU’s data-economy by increasing the amount of public sector data available for re-use, ensuring fair competition and easy access to markets based on public sector information, and enhancing cross-border innovation based on data.

The main principle of the Directive is that government data should be open by default and design.  The main provision of the Directive include:

  • Release of non personal data in open formats and to open standards.
  • Data to be available in real time and via APIs.
  • New rules on charging - free reuse becomes a principle.
  • Re-use of publically funded research data.
  • List of High Value Datasets (HVDs) to be laid down in an Implementing Act.
  • Prevention of data lock-in, exclusive arrangements discouraged.
  • Re-use of data held by public undertakings such as public utilities and transport providers.


Summary of Changes


Request for Reuse

Did you know that you have the right to re-use information which public bodies hold, under the Open Data Directive?

Any individual or entity may make a request to a public sector body to release documents /data for re-use. 

The request should clearly indicate that it is being made under the Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information Directive, commonly know as the Open Data Directive.  The Open Data Regulations provide that a public sector body should respond to an Open Data request:

  • within 20 working days from receipt of the request, 
  • or if a complex request, within 40 working days.

Where, due to the extent or complexity of the request, processing will take longer than 20 working days from receipt of the request, the public sector body concerned shall advise the requester accordingly within three weeks after the initial request was received. In such circumstances the public sector body should respond in full to the request within 40 working days from receipt of the request.   


If you are not happy with the public body's decision on your request, you can appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner which is an independent appeals body and have the power to affirm, annul or vary the public body's decision.



July 2021 - Statutory Instrument 376/2021 - European Union (Open Data and Re-use of Public Sector Information) Regulations 2021

June 2019 - EU Directive 2019/1024 on Open Data and the re-use of Public Sector Information (Open Data Directive)