What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 was enacted on 14 October 2014. The FOI Act 2014 applies to Tailte Éireann (TÉ) as and from 1 March 2023 (Section 1(3)(b[MS1] )).
Under the FOI Act 2014, you have a right to:
- access records held by FOI bodies
- request correction of personal information relating to you held by FOI bodies where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
- obtain reasons for a decision made by FOI bodies where the decision affects you.
These rights are subject to certain exemptions which are set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
When making your request, you should indicate that your application is being made under the Freedom of Information Act.
What records can I ask for under FOI?
You can ask for the following records held by this office:
- any records relating to you personally, whenever created
- other records created after 21st April 2008.
A ‘record’ can be a paper document, information held on a computer, printouts, maps, plans, microfilm, microfiche, audio-visual material, etc.
You do not have to give a reason as to why you want access to particular records and you must be given an explanation if you are refused access to any record that you have requested. The FOI Act requires that you, the requester, give us sufficient particulars to enable us to identify the records you require. Where your request relates to personal information you must provide evidence of identity. We will accept photographic identification, for example, a copy of your passport or driving licence, plus proof of address, for example, a recent utility bill.
Include a daytime contact telephone number to allow the person dealing with your application to contact you should any clarification be required in relation to your request.
All requests under the FOI Act should be made in writing and addressed to:
FOI Officer Tailte Éireann Four Courts
By email: email@example.com
Alternatively, you may use the FOI Request Form [MS2] and submit this to the FOI Officer at the address given above along with appropriate identification.
A decision on your FOI application must normally be made within 20 working days.
Appealing a decision
If you are not satisfied with the decision made you can seek an internal review of the decision, which is a complete and new review of your request. You may also seek an internal review if you have not received a reply within 20 working days of your initial application. This review will be conducted by someone in the organisation more senior than the original decision maker. Tailte Éireann must complete the review within three weeks.
If, following the outcome of the review you are still not satisfied, you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
There is no fee for making an initial application under FOI. However, in the case of requests which relate to non-personal information, there may be a fee charged for search, retrieval and copying. Regarding the search, retrieval and copying charges, there is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying charges can be charged.
There is a cap on the amount that can be charged and this is set at €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 an internal review (excluding certain exemptions) is €30 and €10 for medical card holders and their dependants. The fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner (excluding certain exemptions) is €50 and €15 for medical card holders and their dependants.
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires Freedom of Information (FOI) bodies to publish a disclosure log, which contains details of non-personal requests received under FOI and the decisions made by the body in response to those requests.
Please note that, for privacy reasons, identifying information such as the name of the requester is not included in the disclosure log.
Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow Government business to be properly conducted, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances.
These are set out in the Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
- deliberations, functions and negotiations of FOI bodies
- law enforcement and security
- confidential and commercially sensitive information
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
For more comprehensive information on Freedom of Information including the text of the FOI Act, please visit the FOI Central Policy Unit website.
General Information enquiries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org