What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 gives applicants the right to access records held by FOI bodies. Applicants have the right to;
- access official records held by Government Departments or other public bodies as defined by the act;
- the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
- the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect
These rights are subject to certain exemptions which are set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
What records can I ask for under FOI?
Any of the following can be requested;
- Any records relating to you personally, whenever created
- All other records created after the effective date
In order to allow FOI bodies to properly conduct their business, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release, certain types of records in some circumstances. These are set out in the Act.
Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
- law enforcement and security
- confidential and commercially sensitive records
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
Routinely available information
Ordnance Survey Ireland currently makes information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions and activities.
General information can be found on the OSI website and in OSI’s Annual Reports and Strategy
Statements which are on the website.
Specific queries should be sent to OSI Customer Services, Phoenix Park, Dublin 8,D08 F6E4 or by e-mail to [email protected]
How is an FOI request made?
All requests under the FOI Act should be made in writing and addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Ordnance Survey Ireland
Phoenix Park Dublin 8
Or via email to [email protected]
- You should indicate that your application is being made under the Freedom of Information Act
- You should give as much detail as possible to enable staff of the organisation to identify the If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records which you require, staff within the organisation will be happy to assist you in preparing your request.
- You should also include a daytime telephone number so that you can be contacted if it is necessary to clarify details of your
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.
A decision on your FOI application must normally be made within 4 weeks.
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. This review will be conducted by someone in the organisation more senior than the original decision maker.
If following this you are still not satisfied, you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
When the request is for personal records there are no charges unless there is a significant number of records.
In the case of requests which relate to non-personal records, charges are applied for search, retrieval and copying. These fees relate to:
- Determining whether it holds the records requested
- Locating the records or documents containing the records
- Retrieving such records or documents
- Extracting the information from the files, documents, electronic or other information sources containing both it and other material not relevant to the request, and
- Preparing a schedule specifying the records for consideration for release.
In relation to the search retrieval and copying, the current rate chargeable is €20 per hour.
There is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying charges can be charged. Once the charge reaches the €101 full fees apply. There is a cap on the amount that can be charged and this is set at €500. There is also a further upper ceiling limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees set at €700 above which a body can refuse to process a request unless the requester is prepared to refine the request below the limit.
There are also fees which apply for an internal review, this is €30 (€10 for medical card holders and their dependents). The fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner is €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependents).
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires 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.