Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the majority of Departmental offices are closed with work being handled remotely. As a result post for certain areas may remain uncollected for some time.
To assist us with ensuring that all Freedom of Information/Access to Information on the Environment requests are handled as soon as possible, we would be grateful if FOI and AIE requests could be sent electronically to the following addresses for the imminent future:
If you are considering an FOI request to the department, you may find that the information is already published through the Scheme. For example, you can find our expenditure on external contracts, procurement or Ministerial expenses under the Financial Information section of the Scheme.
The FOI Act 2014
provides that every person has the following legal rights:
the right to access official records held by government departments or other public bodies listed in, or prescribed under, the Act
the right to have personal information held concerning him or her corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies which affect him or her
These rights allow people to seek access to personal information held concerning themselves, no matter when the information was created, and to other records created after 21 April, 1998.
Information available under FOI
Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act. However, to allow for the proper conduct of government business, including taking account of the interests of third parties dealing with government, the Act provides that in some circumstances certain types of information are exempt from release, including records of:
law enforcement and security
confidential and commercially sensitive information
Make an FOI request
Please submit requests in writing by post or email to:
No fees will be charged if you are searching for personal information (ie, information about yourself.)
there is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees can be charged. Once the charge reaches €101, full fees apply
there is a cap on the amount of search, retrieval and copying fees that can be charged of €500
there is a further upper limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees at €700 above which an FOI body can refuse to process a request, unless the requester is prepared to refine the request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below the limit
the fee for internal review under Section 21 is now €30 (€10 for medical card holders and their dependants)
the fee for appeals to the Information Commissioner under Section 22 is now €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependants)
Appeal a decision
If you are not satisfied with the response received, or feel that a proposed charge for search/retrieval or copying of records is excessive, you can seek a review by the department. An officer more senior than the Decision Maker will carry out the review. Contact details are the same as for making an initial request.
If you are not satisfied with the result of an internal review, you may seek a further review by the Information Commissioner. Their contact details are:
Office of the Information Commissioner
Bodies covered by the FOI Act
The FOI Act applies to all government departments, local authorities and health boards. The Act also applies to a large number of additional public bodies. A full list of the bodies covered by FOI is available on the FOI website.