How To Get Information Under the FOI Acts

Applications under the Freedom of Information Acts

Under the FOI Acts, anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available.  Each person has a right of:

  • access to records held by the Authority;
  • correction of personal information relating to oneself held by the Authority where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;
  • access to reasons for decisions made by the Authority directly affecting oneself.

The following records come within the scope of the Acts:

  • All records relating to personal information held by the Authority irrespective of when created;
  • all other records created from commencement date of 21st April 1998;
  • any other records necessary to the understanding of a current record.

The Authority will normally be obliged to respond to the request within 20 working days.

Applications under the FOI Acts should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Office
The Metropolitan Building
James Joyce Street
Dublin 1

Telephone     0818 289 389
Fax               (01) 614 7020

Applications must be in writing and should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003.  An application form ‘Request for Information under the Freedom of Information Acts’ is available on request but you are not required to use a form.

When you are preparing a request, please follow these guidelines:

  • If you require the information in a particular format (such as a photocopy, computer disk, etc.) this should be mentioned in the application.
  • Please give as much detail as possible to enable the staff of the Authority to identify the record and reply promptly to your request.  If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records that you require, the FOI Officer will be happy to assist you in preparing your request.
  • Provide full contact details including a contact telephone number.
  • Enclose the appropriate fee (see section 4.1 below).

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Rights of Review and Appeal

The Acts set out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage key interests of the State or of third parties.  Where the Authority invokes these provisions to withhold information, the decision may be appealed.  Decisions in relation to deferral of access, charges, forms of access, etc. may also be the subject of appeal.  
Details of the appeals mechanisms are as follows:

Internal Review

You may seek an internal review of the initial decision if:

  • you are dissatisfied with the initial response received i.e. refusal of information, form of access, charges, etc., or
  • you have not received a reply within 4 weeks of your initial application.  This is deemed to be a refusal of your request and allows you to proceed to internal review.

An official at a higher level will carry out the review.

Requests for internal review should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Office
Metropolitan Building
James Joyce Street
Dublin 1

Telephone     0818 289 389
Fax                 (01) 614 7020

Such a request for internal review must be submitted within 4 weeks of the initial decision.  The Authority must complete the review within 3 weeks. 

The internal review must normally be completed before an appeal may be made to the Information Commissioner.

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Review by the Information Commissioner

Following the completion of an internal review, you may seek an independent review of the decision from the Information Commissioner.  

Where you have not received a reply to your application for internal review within 3 weeks, this is deemed to be a refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Information Commissioner.

Appeals in writing may be made directly to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773.
Tel: +353-1-639 5689

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