General Information

INTRODUCTION

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014, gives three legal rights to those seeking access to information held by public bodies covered by the Act

  • the right to access to official records created after 21st April 1998 which are held by Government Departments or other public bodies subject to the Act
  • the right to have personal details on official records corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect the requester

The following records come within the scope of the FOI Act

  • all records relating to requesters personal information irrespective of when they were created
  • all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act (21st April 1998)
  • any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21st April 1998.

Any records held by this Office falling into these categories may be sought under the Act.  However, in order to allow public bodies to conduct their business properly and to protect the rights of third parties, certain records are exempt from release under the Act.  Whether an exemption will be applied depends in many cases on whether the public interest is better served by releasing or withholding the information.

FOI FEES

There is no application fee for requests.  There may be charges for the time spent retrieving records and these will be advised if applicable.

HOW DO I MAKE AN FOI REQUEST?

A request for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing and should indicate that the information is being sought under the Freedom of Information Act.  The request should also be sufficiently clear for us to identify the records sought.  If we are not clear as to the records being sought we will contact you to seek clarification.

Requests using the attached Application Form should be submitted to foiunit@opw.ie or addressed to:

FOI Unit
Office of Public Works
Jonathan Swift Street
Trim
Co. Meath
C15 NX36

For phone queries or assistance in making a request contact Mary Bagnall at 046 942 6747.

WHAT CAN I DO IF I AM UNHAPPY WITH A DECISION ON MY REQUEST?

If you are dissatisfied with this Office's decision on an FOI request you can seek an internal review of the decision.  An internal review is a complete reconsideration of your request by a more senior member of staff in the Office.  Applications for internal review should be made in writing to the FOI Unit.

There is an application fee of €30 (€10 for Medical Card holders) for internal review of FOI requests.  There is no charge for internal review of a decision relating to a requester's personal information or for a decision to charge fees.

If you are unhappy with the decision made by 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
D02 HE97

Phone 01 639 5689 or 1890 223 030

There is fee of €50 (€15 for Medical Card holders) for application of review to the Information Commissioner.  There is no application fee for a review in relation to personal information or for a decision to charge fees

Further Information