What is the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information Act is designed to give the public the right of access to records held by public bodies, to the greatest extent possible that is consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy. The Act lays out a formal requesting process, as well as emphasising that public bodies should be open and accountable as a matter of principle.
How can I make a Freedom of Information Request?
Please see LINK ON ‘How to make a FOI Request’
Will I be charged for making a Freedom of Information Request?
Please see our Legislation page for full details of fees and charges.
Can I appeal a decision made on my Freedom of Information Request?
Yes. Under the Act, the person who has requested the information has the right to appeal an FOI body's decision - firstly to a more senior staff member within the FOI body than the staff member who made the original decision (referred to as an Internal Reviewer), and then to the Office of the Information Commissioner if the decision is still not satisfactory. The Information Commissioner's decision in this instance is binding.
Can I make a request for my own personal information outside of the FOI Act 2014.
Yes. They can be applied for under Routine Access or under the Data Protection Act 2003.
See link to section on Other forms of access for requesting personal information
Glossary of Terms
- Decision-Maker - a staff member within a public body who makes decisions on FOI requests, i.e. who decides whether it is appropriate to release the requested records or not
- Disclosure Log - a publicly-available record of the decisions made by a public body in response to FOI requests
- Freedom of Information Act - an Act designed to give the public the right of access to records held by public bodies
- FOI (Freedom of Information) Request - a written request made under the Freedom of Information Act, usually a request for access to certain records held by a public body
- Information Commissioner - the Commissioner, independent of the government, who reviews the implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and can issue binding decisions on appeals regarding FOI requests
- Publication Scheme - a catalogue of the information that a public body routinely makes publicly available
- Public Body - an organisation that is funded by the state, in full or in large part.
- Record - information recorded on any media, including letters, memos, emails, post-its, voice recordings...
- Requester - the official term for a person who makes an FOI request
- Department of Public Expenditure and Reform,
Central Policy Unit
Floor 3, 7-9 Merrion Row
Tel: +353 1 631 8258
Fax: +353 1 604 5750
- 18 Lower Leeson Street
Tel: +353 1 639 5689
Lo-call: 1890 253 238
Fax: +353 1 639 5674 or +353 1 639 5676