FOI General Information
General Information on FOI
Can I get access to any information that I seek?
Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act?
How do I make an FOI request?
Assistance in making requests
What can I do if I am unhappy with a decision on my request?
Do I need to make an FOI request to get information from DECLG?
Bodies under the aegis of DECLG which are subject to the FOI Act
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts 2014, gives three legal rights to those seeking access to information held by public bodies covered by the Act
- the right of access to official records created after 21 April 1998 which are held by Government Departments or other public bodies subject to the Act;
- the right to have personal details on official records corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
- and the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect the requester.
The Freedom of Information Act gives legal rights to obtain access to records held by public bodies. There is generally no time limit in the case of personal information about the requester. In other cases the right of access is to records created after the commencement of the Act on 21 April 1998 (although access may be given to records created before this date where they are required to understand records created after this date). Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 must be made in writing.
The following records come within the scope of the FOI Act:
- all records relating to requesters' personal information irrespective of when they were created
- all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act (21 April, 1998)
- any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21 April 1998
Any records held by the Department falling into these categories may be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow public bodies to conduct their business properly and to protect the rights of third parties, certain records are exempt from release under the Act. Whether an exemption will be applied depends, in many cases, on whether the public interest is better served by releasing or withholding the information. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
- the deliberative processes of the public body
- parliamentary and court matters
- law enforcement and public safety· security, defence and international relations
- confidential and commercially sensitive information
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
PLEASE NOTE THAT IT IS DEPARTMENTAL POLICY TO PUBLISH F.O.I REQUESTS ON THIS WEBSITE.
There is no application fee for requests. There may be charges for the time spent retrieving records and these will be advised if applicable.
A request for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing and should indicate that the information is being sought under the Freedom of Information Act. The request should also be sufficiently clear for us to identify the records sought. If we are not clear as to the records being sought we will contact you to seek clarification.
If you wish to gain access to the records in a particular form (e.g. inspect the records, photocopies, computer disk, etc.) you should specify this in the application.
Requests may be made by post by writing to
Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government,
Requests may also be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 4 weeks of its receipt.
Information on type of records held by the Department is given in our FOI Section 15 Reference Book. If you have difficulty in identifying the records required, the staff of the FOI Unit will be happy to assist you. The FOI Unit can be contacted by telephone at +353 (0)53 911 7495 - Shelly Whelan or +353 (0)53 911 7461 - Tony Collins or e-mailed at (email@example.com).
If you are dissatisfied with the Department's decision on an FOI request you can seek an internal review of the decision. An internal review is a complete reconsideration of your request by a more senior member of staff in the Department. Applications for internal review should be made in writing to the FOI Unit.
There is an application fee of 30 euro, (10 euro for requesters covered by medical cards), for applications for internal review of FOI requests. There is no charge for an application for internal review of a decision relating to the requester's personal information or for an application for internal review of a decision to charge fees.
If you are unhappy with the decision made by the internal reviewer, you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner, whose contact details are as follows:
Office of the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2 Phone: +353 (0)1 639 5689 or 1890 223030, Fax +353 (0)1 639 5676 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org There is an application fee of 150 euro (50 euro for requests covered by medical cards) for application for review to the Information Commissioner. There is no charge for an application for review to the Information Commissioner of an internal review decision relating to the requester's personal information or a decision to charge fees.
No. It is not necessary to make an FOI request to get information from the Department. A considerable amount of material is already made available to the public through information leaflets - see the Publications section of this website. Contact points for information on services provided by the Department are set out in our FOI Section 16 Reference Book.
FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made routinely available.
A number of bodies under the aegis of the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government are subject to the Freedom of information Act 2014. Contact details for these bodies are:
An Bord Pleanála
64 Marlborough St, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 (0)1 858 8100
FOI contact person: Pearse Dillon
Building Regulations Advisory Body (BRAB)
Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 (0)1 888 2551
FOI contact person: Adam Egan
Dublin Docklands Development Authority
52-55 Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Docklands, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 (0)1 818 3300
FOI contact person: Loretta Lambkin
Environmental Protection Agency
PO Box 3000, Johnston Castle Estate, Co. Wexford
Telephone:+353 (0)53 916 0600
FOI contact person: Karen Vaughey
Housing Finance Agency
46 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2.
Telephone: +353 (0)1 872 5722
FOI contact person: Seán Cremen
Housing & Sustainable Communities Agency*
2nd Floor Cumberland House, Fenin St, Dublin 2.
Telephone: +353 (0)1 656 4115
FOI contact person: Ciara Galvin
(* The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency HSCA) will replace the Affordable Homes Partnership, the Centre for Housing Research and the National Building Agency)
Irish Water Safety
The Long Walk, Galway
Telephone: +353 (0)91 564 400
FOI contact person: John Leech
Local Government Management Agency*
Local Government House, 35-39 Ushers Quay, Dublin 8.
Telephone: +353 (0)1 643 8400
FOI contact person: Ann Monaghan
(* The Local Government Management Services Board (LGMSB) and the Local Government Computer Services Board (LGCSB) are being merged into the Local Government Management Agency)
National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee
Department of theEnvironment, Community & Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1
Telephone: +353 (0)1 888 2188
FOI Contact: Deirdre Kearney
Western Development Commission (WDC)
Dillon House, Ballghaereen, Co. Roscommon
Telephone: +353(0)94 986 1441
FOI contact person: Paul Keyes
- Report of the Cork Local Government Committee - September 2015 (pdf, 3,894 kb)
- Annual Report 2014 (pdf, 2,557 kb)
- Frequently Asked Questions - Water Reforms (pdf, 566 kb)
- more publications