WELCOME TO CORPORATE AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Freedom of Information,
Aras an Chontae,
Great Water Street,
Tel: 043 - 46231 Fax: 043 - 41233
The Freedom of Information Act, 1997 provides that every person has the following legal rights:-
These rights mean that since 21st October, 1998 people can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created by Longford County Council, and to other records created after 21st October, 1998.
The act requires Longford County Council to respond to requests from the public for information held by them. Longford County Council is obliged to
If Longford County Council does not respond within four weeks the decision is deemed to have been refused and the requester can proceed to the review stage.
Longford County Council has two publications available to help you in understanding the structure of the organisation and the types of information held.
These publications are also available for reference in the public offices and public libraries of the County Council or from the FOI Officer.
No. Longford County Council routinely make information available to the public through information leaflets, publications and in response to enquiries. Information is also available under other legislation e.g. planning and environment. This will continue. FOI provides and additional source of information by facilitating access to records not otherwise available.
Any official information held by Longford County Council can be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow the Council business to be properly conducted it will be necessary to protect certain types of information from release and these are set out in the Act.
Among the exemptions are
Requests should be made in writing to the address shown above and should:-
Post or deliver your request to Longford County Council to the address above. Longford County Council will be happy to provide you with assistance in making your request.
Longford County Council can let you see the records, or give you a copy. In some cases another form may be more appropriate e.g. record given on computer disk.
If copies are not sent to you, Longford County Council will let you know how, when and where you can see them.
Should you have a preference, you should state this when making your FOI request. Generally you will be given access in that form if possible.
If after seeing your records you believe the information they contain to be incomplete, incorrect, out of date or misleading, you have a legal right to ask that it be corrected, if one of these grounds is established.
Simply write to the address shown above and your request should:
Post or deliver your request to Longford County Council at the address above.
All requests for non-personal records must be accompanied by a fee of €15 (a reduced fee applies to medical card holders).
You may be charged for the time spent finding records (€20.95/hour) and for any photocopying costs (4c/sheet) incurred by Longford County Council. There will generally not be a charge for personal information, unless a large volume of photocopying is involved.
You can appeal to Longford County Council to review the decision. This review will be carried out by an official senior to the person who made the original decision. The review must be completed within three weeks. If you are unhappy with the review, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner.
The Act provides for greater public access to official information. The experience of other countries with FOI legislation is that, because the papers produced by public servants are more likely to be seen by the public, the process of making decisions and giving reasons for them has improved greatly.
The Office of the Information Commissioner is an independent Office with powers to review decisions made by Longford County Council.
Where a review has been undertaken, the Information Commissioner's decision is binding on the parties concerned subject to appeal to the High Court on a point of law.
Appeals in writing may be made to the Information Commissioner at the following address:-
Office of the Information Commissioner, 18, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.