The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2014 which came into operation on 14 October, 2014, details the following three statutory rights:
The Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals. The Act is designed to allow public access to information held by public bodies which is NOT routinely available through other sources. Access to information under the Act is subject to certain exemptions and involves specific procedures and time limits.
The Department currently makes information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions, activities and schemes. Such information will continue to be available informally without the need to use the FOI Acts.
The following records come within the scope of the Act:
We are obliged to respond to a FOI request within 4 weeks.
Requests for information under the FOI Act in relation to the Department of Defence, Civil Defence or the Army Pensions Board should be addressed to:
Note: Applications for information under the FOI Act in relation to the Defence Forces will be dealt with by the Defence Forces FOI Officer. Please see Defence Forces details – on www.military.ie
Applications should be in writing and should:
There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the Department in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the body can refuse to process the request. Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing. A list of relevant fees is set out below:
There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records.
You may appeal any decision issued by this Department by writing to the Freedom of Information Office seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
You should make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances).The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the Department and a decision will be communicated to you within 3 weeks.
You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision.
All appeals should be addressed to:
A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.