FOI - Freedom of Information
The FOI Act provides that from 21 April, 1998, every person has the following new legal
rights: · the right to access official records held by Government Departments
or other public bodies listed in the Act; · the right to have personal
information held on them corrected or updated where such information is
incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and · the right to be given reasons for
decisions taken by public bodies that affect them. These rights mean that from
21 April, 1998, people can seek access to personal information held on them -
no matter when the information was created - and to other records created after
21 April, 1998.
The Department of Finance official FOI Website
contains all of the relevant in formational material updates on an ongoing basis.
Question 1: What information is available?
Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act.
However, to allow for the proper conduct of Government business, the Act
provides that in some circumstances certain types of information are exempt
from release. Among the exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
- Law enforcement and security
- Confidential and commercially sensitive information
- Information (other than information relating to the person making the request).
Question 2: How do I make a FOI request?
Requests should be submitted in writing along with an application fee, if applicable,
(see 5 below) to:
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
25 Clare Street
Fax: +353 1 6041320
Question 3: Who should I contact?
The FOI Unit can be contacted by telephone at
01 6041599 Dave Butler
Question 4: Will I be charged for making a request?
The following charges apply in relation to requests for records made under the FOI
There is no application fee if your request is for personal information only. If your request is for a
record containing non-personal information, an application fee of 15 Euro
or 10 Euro in the case of a person covered by a medical card must
accompany your request.
Search and Retrieval and Copying Fees
Fees may also be applied in respect of the time spent searching and retrieving records that are
released to you and in respect of copying of such records. These fees are
unlikely to arise if your request is for personal information.
All payments to the Department should be made by way of bank draft, money postal
order or personal cheque made payable to "The Department of
Question 5: What can I do if I am not happy with a decision?
Requesters who are not satisfied with the response they have received or
who feel that a proposed charge for search/retrieval or copying of
records is excessive can appeal to the Department for an internal review of the
Someone more senior than the original decision-maker will undertake the internal
review. The reviewer can change or agree with the original decision.
There is an application fee of 75 Euro or 25 Euro if covered by a medical card for
applications for internal reviews of FOI requests.
If you are unhappy with the decision of the internal reviewer, you have the right to
appeal to the Information Commissioner whose contact details are as follows:
Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Phone: (01) 6395689 or 1890 223030
Fax (01) 6395674 e-mail: email@example.com
There is an application fee of 150 Euro (50 Euro for requests covered by medical cards)
for application for review to the Information Commissioner. There is no charge
for an application for review to the Information Commissioner of a decision
relating to the requester's personal information or a decision to charge fees.
Question 6: Do I need to make a FOI request to get any information from public bodies?
No. It is a policy of the Department to make as much information as possible available
outside of the Freedom of Information process. To this end we routinely
make information available through information leaflets, publications, websites
and in response to enquiries. FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made
Question 7: Which bodies are covered by the FOI Act?
The FOI Act applies to all Government Departments, Local Authorities and Health Boards
as well as a large number of additional public bodies. A full list of the
bodies covered by FOI is available on the FOI website: www.foi.gov.ie
The bodies, under aegis of the Department that currently come under the scope of
Freedom of Information are: