What records can I look for through this website?
Please note that it is not possible to seek records held by anyone other than the Information Commissioner's Office through this website. If you want to access records held by a public body you must apply to that body. For example, if you want records about your tax affairs, you must apply to the Revenue Commissioners; and if you want records about a policy matter at the Department of Education and Skills, you must apply to that Department.
Freedom of Information Act 2014
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI Act 2014), was signed by the President on 14th October 2014, and became effective on that day, subject to certain commencement dates for the specific provisions set out in section 1 of the Act.
The new Act can be found by clicking on the following link http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/bills28/acts/2014/a3014.pdf
You may apply to the Office of the Information Commissioner for certain information held by the Office, but the FOI Act 2014 limits the records which may be accessed. The FOI Act 2014 does not apply to the following records held at the Information Commissioner's Office:
- records relating to a review by the Commissioner of a public body's decision on an FOI request
- records relating to an investigation by the Commissioner
What records at the Office of the Information Commissioner are covered?
Records about the general administration of the Office of the Information Commissioner are covered by the FOI Act.
How to make a request
To request records of the Office of the Information Commissioner, please write to us stating that you are making a request under the FOI Act 2014. You should address your request to the FOI Officer, Office of the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
How you can help us deal with your request
If you are looking for a record you should provide as much information as possible to allow us find it. If you want it in a particular format (e.g. a photocopy, transcript, computer disc; or if you want to examine it) you should state this clearly in your request.
If you are looking for an amendment to a record, your request should identify the record concerned, the amendment required, and provide evidence that the amendment is necessary.
How we will help you in making your request
The FOI Act says that the public (FOI) body should help a person who is looking for a record under the FOI Act. It specifically states that assistance should be provided where the requester has a disability.
In addition, this Office may contact you to clarify your request with you.
Do I have to pay a fee?
In certain circumstances fees are charged under the FOI Act 2014. There is no fee for making an initial FOI request; the fee for an internal review is €30, or €10 for the holder of a medical card. If a fee is payable in respect of an internal review to this Office you may pay by cheque, bank draft or postal order.
How long will it take?
Once this Office receives a request it has up to four weeks to make a decision. The decision will be issued to you in writing and will specify whether or not your request is being granted, part-granted or refused and will give you the reason(s) behind the decision.
What if I am unhappy with the decision?
If you are unhappy with the decision or if after the four weeks you have not received a decision (this is called a refusal to your FOI request by non-reply) your next step is to apply for an 'internal review'.
An 'internal review' is an appeals mechanism within this Office which will be carried out by an officer who is more senior than the individual who made the decision on your original request. To request an internal review you must write to this Office referring to the decision received (if one was made) and state that you are making an internal review appeal. You cannot raise any further issues in your internal review appeal: The sole purpose of the review is for another officer to reconsider the decision on your original request only. This Office has three weeks to make a decision on your request for an internal review.
The Commissioner cannot review an FOI decision relating to his Office. If you are not happy with the internal review decision, or if after the three weeks you have not received a decision (this is deemed a refusal by non-reply) your next step, in accordance with section 24(3) of the FOI Act 2014, is to appeal the decision on a point of law to the High Court. Section 24(4)(a) of the FOI Act 2014 provides that such an appeal must generally be initiated not later than 4 weeks after notice of the decision concerned was given to the person bringing the appeal. However, where the decision of this Office is to grant access to some records (including parts of records) but not all records requested, section 24(4)(b)(i) provides that the requester shall have 8 weeks after the date of the notification of the decision to initiate an appeal to the High Court.