Freedom of Information (FOI) - Making a Request
Important Update from the FOI Officer – Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
Dear FOI Requester,
Extraordinary measures are being taken to support public services under severe pressure at this time and this will affect the Freedom of Information process in the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.
Many staff in the Department, including those in the FOI Unit, have been or will be redeployed to support our colleagues in critical internal processes, to perform contact tracing for the HSE and to support other public service bodies facing severe pressure at this time.
While it is possible for the Department to avail of exemptions under the FOI Act to turn down requests or apply extensions, given the ongoing uncertainty in the State, I would ask that you understand the difficulties arising and consider your existing request “withdrawn” and then resubmit it at the appropriate time.
Many thanks for your cooperation at this time and apologies for any inconvenience caused.
30 March 2020
Do I need to make an FOI request to get information from DHPLG?
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.
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
Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government,
Requests may also be made by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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 7454 (Anthony Dowd),+353 (0)53 911 7397 (June Flood) or +353 (0)53 9117410 (Deirdre Howlin)
- Email at (email@example.com).
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:
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.