- What is Freedom of Information?
- What can I ask for?
- Do I have to pay for getting information under FOI?
- How do I make and FOI request?
- Can I appeal against the decision?
- Is there a charge for appealing a decision of a public body?
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The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to access records held by Government Departments and certain public bodies.
You can ask for the following records held by Government Departments or certain public bodies:
- any records relating to you personally, whenever created
- all other records created after 21 April, 1998
There are basically two types of charges that apply under the Freedom of Information Act:
- Fees that accompany a request for a record:
A fee of €15 must accompany a request for records other than records containing only personal information relating to yourself. A reduced fee of €10 applies in relation to such a request if you are covered by a medical card. Neither fee applies if the request is for personal information relating to yourself.
- Fees/deposits in relation to the cost of search and retrieval and copying of records released:
You can also be charged for the time spent finding records that are to be given to you, and for any photocopying costs incurred by the public body in providing material to you. Such costs are very unlikely to arise in the case of personal information. You cannot be charged for the time spent on deciding whether or not to grant your request.
When you make a request you must:
Submit the request in writing along with the appropriate fee , if applicable, to the Public Body that holds the records you are looking for.
- specify that the request is being made under the FOI Act
- be clear enough so that the public body to whom the request is addressed understands what records are being requested. In cases where the public body is not clear what records are being requested, it must assist the requester to put his/her request in such a way that the records being sought can be identified.
Alternatively, you may download the Freedom of Information Application
- Yes. If you are not satisfied with the decision, on an FOI request you may ask the department or body for "internal review" of the decision. A more senior officer will review your application. You will be told the result of this review within 3 weeks.
- If you are not satisfied with the decision on "internal review", you may ask the Information Commissioner to review the matter.
- A fee of €75 must accompany most applications for internal review of a decision of a public body. A reduced fee of €25 applies if you are covered by a medical card. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
- A fee of €150 must accompany most applications for review by the Information Commissioner. A reduced fee of €50 applies if you are covered by a medical card or in relation to a review concerning certain third party information. There is no fee for review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to decisions to impose fees or deposits.
- Freedom of Information Application
- Freedom Of Information section 15
- Freedom Of Information section 16