Freedom of Information

What is Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access records held by FOI bodies. FOI bodies must give you an explanation if you are not provided with the information you requested and the decision must normally be made within 4 weeks.

What can I ask for?

You can ask for any of the following.

  • Any records relating to you personally, whenever created
  • All other records created after the effective date (April 2008)

What is a record?

A record includes a book or other written or printed material which is in any form including in any electronic device. It is a map, plan or drawing, a disc, tape or film which contains visual or non-visual images or a copy of any of these.

Do I have to pay for getting information under FOI?

When the request is for personal information there are no charges unless there are a significant number of records. In the case of requests which relate to non-personal information there are charges applied for search, retrieval and copying. The relevant section of the Act is Section 27(2) and these fees relate to:

  1. Determining whether LOETB holds the information requested;
  2. Locating the information or documents containing the information
  3. Retrieving such information or documents
  4. Extracting the information from the files, documents, electronic or other information sources containing both it and other material not relevant to the request, and
  5. Repairing a schedule specifying the records for consideration for release

Fees and charges

There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by LOETB in providing the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, LOETB can refuse to process the request. Details of actual charges relating to requests will be notified in writing.

List of Fees

  • Search and Retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above.
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
  • Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders)
  • Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders)

Can I appeal a decision?

Yes. If you are not satisfied with the decision made you can seek an internal review of the decision, which is a complete and new review of your request, by a more senior staff member. If, following this, you are still not satisfied, you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.

 

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