Our Freedom of Information (FOI) Publication Scheme includes a lot of information commonly requested through FOI.
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:
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.
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:
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.)
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:
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.
Commercial agencies under the aegis of the department are exempt under the Act. Irish Rail, listed above for partial inclusion, is an exception.