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FOI

New Freedom of Information Legislation

On 14 October 2014, the Freedom of Information Act 2014 came into effect and repealed the Freedom of Information Act 1997 and the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003. The old legislation continues to apply to any FOI request made before the new legislation came into effect. It also applies to any subsequent review or appeal. The Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides the following statutory rights:

  • A legal right for each person to access information held by a body to which FOI legislation applies
  • A legal right for each person to have official information relating to himself/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • A legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting himself/herself.

Requests for information

You are entitled to request the following records:

  • Any records relating to you personally whenever they were created
  • Non Personal Information created after 21st October 1998 
  • A record can be a paper document or information held on computer. It includes, for example, printouts, maps, plans, microfilm, audio-visual material, disks and tapes.

Exemptions

Key exemptions include records relating to government meetings, commercially sensitive information, information given in confidence and personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request).
Rates:
Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides for fees and charges. The current fees are:

Type of request or applicationStandard FeeInternal ReviewAppeals to Information Commissioner
Request for recordsFree€30€50
Request for non-personal records by medical card holder or dependant of medical card holder (please supply Medical Card Details* with your request)Free€10€15
Amendment of Records (Section 9 of the FOI Act)FreeFreeFree
Statement of Reasons (Section 10 of the FOI Act)FreeFreeFree
Appeal of decision to charge a feeFreeFreeFree
Third Parties appealing a decision of a public body to release their information on public interest grounds -  - €50

* Medical Card Registration Number
Name of issuing Health Authority
Your consent to the verification of these details with the relevant Health Authority

Charges for search, retrieval and copying of records

In line with Section 27 of the Act, charges may be applied by Longford County Council for the time spent finding and retrieving records, and for any photocopying costs incurred in providing material requested.  No fees apply where the request involves access to your personal records, except where a large number of records are involved.

If the cost of search, retrieval and copying is €100 or less, no charge is applied. If the charge exceeds €101, full fees apply. There is a limit of €500 on the amount of search, retrieval and copying fees that can be charged. If the estimated cost of search, retrieval and copying is more than €700 the body can refuse to process your request, unless you refine your request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below this limit.

Type of ChargeStandard Charge
Search and retrieval of records€20 per hour
Photocopying 4 cent per sheet
CD-ROM containing copy of records€10

How to Request Information using Freedom of Information

Requests must be made in writing and delivered by hand, post, email or fax.  Requests should contain sufficient information to enable Longford County Council identify the records in question.  They should all specify the format in which access to records is sought, for example photocopy of records, viewing of file, email, etc.  All requests should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Officer,
Longford County Council,
Great Water Street,
Longford.
Phone:  043 3346231

Email:   foi@longfordcoco.ie

If you are dissatisfied with our decision on your request you may appeal the decision internally.  An application to review a decision should be addressed to the stated senior member of staff as outlined in the acknowledgement letter you will receive.

FOI Disclosure Log.

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires Freedom of Information (FOI) bodies such as Longford County Council to publish a disclosure log, which contains details of non-personal requests received under FOI. The Disclosure Log is available here >>.

Appeals to the Information Commissioner:

If you are unhappy with the decision of the internal appeals officer you may then appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner. This is an independent office with powers to review decision made by public bodies. These appeals should be addressed to:

Office of the Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
Ireland
Phone:  01 6395689
Email:  info@oic.ie
Web:   www.oic.gov.ie