What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access records held by FOI bodies. FOI bodies must give you an explanation if you are not given what you asked for and the decision must normally be made within 4 weeks.
What can I ask for?
You can ask for any of the following.
What is a record?
A record includes a book or other written or printed material which is in any form including in any electronic device. It is a map, plan or drawing, a disc, tape or film which contains visual or non-visual images or a copy of any of these.
Do I have to pay for getting information under FOI?
When the request is for personal information there are no charges unless there are a significant number of records. In the case of requests which relate to non-personal information there are charges applied for search retrieval and copying. The relevant section of the Act here is Section 27(2) and these fees relate to:
- Determining whether it holds the information requested;
- Locating the information or documents containing the information
- Retrieving such information 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
- repairing a schedule specifying the records for consideration for release
There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by LCETB in providing the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, LCETB can refuse to process the request. Details of actual charges relating to requests will be notified in writing.
List of Fees
Search and Retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above.
€0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders)
Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders)
Can I appeal a decision?
Yes. 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 by someone more senior. If following this you are still not satisfied you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
How do I make an FOI REQUEST?
Requests must be made in writing to the FOI Officer, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board, Marshal House, Dooradoyle Road, Co. Limerick. Requests can also be made by email. When you make a request you must:
Submit the request in writing to the FOI Officer, Limerick and Clare Education and Training Board and …
- specify that the request is being made under the FOI Act
- be clear enough so that the FOI Officer understands what records are being requested. In cases where it is not clear what records are being requested, LCETB will assist the requester to put his/her request in such a way that the records being sought can be identified
- When you are seeking information which is personal, you will be required to supply the appropriate identification as required
- In cases where you are seeking to access records under section 37(8) you will be required to provide additional details in order to exercise these rights For further information email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Download the application form here – FOI Request Form