Freedom of Information
The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:
- the right to access official records held by Government Departments and all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of 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 people can seek access to personal information held on them
Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires FOI bodies to prepare and publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, having regard to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability as set out in Sections 8(5) and 11(3) of the Act. This allows for the publication or giving of records outside of FOI provided that such publication or giving of access is not prohibited by law. The scheme commits FOI bodies to make information available as part of their normal business activities in accordance with this scheme.
Making a FOI Request
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 should be made in writing. In preparing a request the following guidelines should be followed:
- State that the request is being made under of the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
- Give sufficient information to enable the Services to identify the records requested.
- State any preference regarding the manner/format in which the record/s are to be supplied.
- Provide full personal contact details.
Once a request is validated, the services will acknowledge it, in writing, stating the period within which a decision must be made, the rights to review, the procedure governing the exercise of those rights and the time limits which apply along with details of any fees which may apply.
The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it.
For further information on Freedom of Information including Frequently Asked Questions visit Brothers of Charity Services Ireland – National page.