Freedom of Information (FOI) - Making a Request

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How do I make an FOI request?

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 to enable us to identify the records sought.  

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

Information Officer
FOI Unit,
Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, 
Newtown Road,
Wexford

Requests may also be made by e-mail to foi@housing.gov.ie     

Please provide your contact details when making an FOI request.                  

Normally you will be notified of the decision on your request within 4 weeks of its receipt.

Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act?

There is no application fee for requests. There may be charges for the time spent retrieving records and you will be advised if these apply.    

Can I get access to any information that I seek?

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.

Assistance in making requests

Information on the type of records held by the Department is available on the Department's website. 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 :-

  • Phone at +353 (0)53 911 7495 (Shelly Whelan) or +353 (0)53 911 7461 (Tony Collins) or +353 (0)53 9117410 (Noreen O'Brien)
  • Email at  (foi@housing.gov.ie).

What can I do if I am unhappy with a decision on my request?

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
Email: info@oic.ie 

There is an application fee of 50 euro (15 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.

Do I need to make an FOI request to get information from DECLG?

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 - on this website

FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made  routinely available.

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