Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the legal right:
- To access official records held by Longford County Council as defined by the legislation
- To have personal information held by Longford County Council about you corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
- To be given reasons for decisions taken by Longford County Council that affect you
Records include paper and digital items, including printouts, maps, microfilm, audio-visual material, disks and tapes. The Act covers:
- All records created after the commencement of the legislation, i.e. 21 October 1998 (However, records created before 21 October 1988 may be required to understand records created after commencement of the Act)
- Personal records regardless of when created
- If you are a staff member, personnel records created from a date three years before commencement of the Act
Records which are exempt from inclusion in a Freedom of Information request 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).
How to request information using Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information requests must be submitted in writing, by post (to Freedom of Information Officer, Longford County Council, Great Water Street, Longford N39 NH56) or by email to email@example.com.
Your request must clearly state that the records are being requested under the Freedom of Information Act. It must also contain sufficient information to enable Longford County Council to identify the records in question. Please include a daytime phone number should we need to contact you to clarify some details of your request. Please also state how you would like to access the records sought, for example, electronic copy via email, photocopy, or to attend the offices to view a file.
How your request is processed
The Freedom of Information Act requires Longford County Council to issue an acknowledgement of the request within two weeks of its receipt. It also requires Longford County Council to make a decision on the request within four weeks of its receipt. In certain circumstances where the request relates to such number of records that compliance within the specified timeframe is not reasonably possible, a time extension not exceeding a further four weeks may be allowed. The individual must be notified of the period of the time extension required and the reasons for the extension.
While a Freedom of Information request is free of charge, fees for search, retrieval, and copying may apply. Longford County Council has set the following charges:
- Search, retrieval and copying of records at €20 per hour
- Photocopy at €0.04 per sheet
- CD-ROM containing copy of records at €10
- There is a minimum threshold of €100 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees can be charged. If the charge exceeds €100 full fees apply
- There is a cap of €500 on the amount of search, retrieval and copying fees that can be charged
- There is a further upper limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees at €700 above which Longford County Council 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
- Internal review fee is €30 (€10 for medical cardholders and their dependants)
- Independent Review by the Office of the Information Commissioner is €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependants)
Right to Appeal
The Freedom of Information Act sets out appeal mechanisms in the event of a refusal of a request, or in relation to deferral of access, charges, form of access. Details of these appeal mechanisms are as follows:
- Internal Review:
You may request an Internal Review within four weeks of the initial decision date if you are dissatisfied with the initial response received (i.e., refusal of information, form of access, charges), or you have not received a reply within four weeks of your initial application.
An application to review a decision should be addressed to:
Longford County Council,
Great Water Street,
Or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Longford County Council must complete the review within three weeks. The fee for internal review is €30 (or €10 for medical cardholders and their dependents).
- Independent Review by the Office of the Information Commissioner:
Following completion of the internal review procedure, you may request an independent review by the Office of the Information Commissioner if you are dissatisfied with the decision of the Internal Review procedure, or you have not received a reply to the request for Internal review within three weeks of the application. The fee for appeals to the Information Commissioner is €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependants). These appeals should be made in writing and addressed to:
Office of the Information Commissioner
6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Phone: (01) 639 56 89
Freedom of Information disclosure logs
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires Longford County Council to publish a disclosure log, which contains details of non-personal requests received under Freedom of Information. View the disclosure logs of Longford County Council.
If you require any further information in relation to information under the Act, contact:
Freedom of Information Officer,
Longford County Council.
Áras an Chontae,
Great Water Street,
Phone: 043 334 34 77
Alternatively, additional information is available at foi.gov.ie and oic.ie.