Adapting WDTK for Ireland

From FOIwiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Summary of the FOI Act in Ireland

  • FOI Act allows users to request both personal and non-personal data
  • Includes provisions for Publication Schemes
  • Fees - significant charges apply for all requests for non-personal data (€15 up-front fee, €30 hourly fees for search/retrieval effort) plus extra charges for internal reviews (€75), appeals to OIC (€150). Discounts apply to Medical Card holders.
  • Up-front payment is always required, usually by cheque or bankers order. Some public bodies allow on-line payment. Some authorities will request a deposit to cover in advance expected search/retrieval costs, and won't release information until the full fee is paid. The search fee is meant to be for voluminous requests, some authorities will waive these.
  • The request can be made by email. It should specify that it is a request is made under the FOI Act, and that it is the preference of the requester to receive the information by email.
  • Real names must be used, as the FOI request needs to consider personal information
  • Exemptions to providing data exist, similar to UK FOI.
  • Requesters can request an Internal Review, and appeals can then be made to the OIC
  • Many contact details of the FOI Officers are listed here:
  • Requests can be made in either English or Irish. Most tend to be in English

Time Limits

  • Acknowledgements within 10 working days (ie excl Sat, Sun, IE public hols)
  • Confirm or Deny within 20 working days, plus provision of the info
  • Further 20 working days allowed under certain circumstances (eg for voluminous requests)
  • Internal Reviews must take no longer than 15 working days
  • Clock gets reset if the authority transfers the request to another public authority
  • Clock doesn't start until initial fee is received
  • Clock suspended pending payment/receipt of fees, then an additional 5 days allowed to process payment before information is released

Environmental Information

  • main legislation is the The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. 133 of 2007). Also known as "AIE".
  • Further information:
  • As per the EIR in the UK, more authorities are captured under these regs than the FOI Act.
  • No fee to make a request. Search/Retrieval charges can be made €21/hour. Fees usually waived if less than €10. Deposits can be taken. No fee for internal reviews. No fee for inspecting the information in situ.
  • Requests need to state that they are being made under the AIE Regulations.
  • Appeals are allowed to the Commissioner for Environmental Information, who is the same person as the OIC.
  • A fee of €150 is charged for appeals to the CEI -
  • Time limits: 20 working days for requests, plus further 20 days for complex or voluminous requests. Internal reviews within 20 working days.

Main changes to WDTK required

  • Country-based segregation of public authorities between the various legislations that apply to them (eg in searches, lists of authorities or requests, templates, on-screen text, help text etc).
  • new time to comply calculations, including ability to "stop/start the clock" where applicable. This is especially required to allow for an interface with the fee process
  • a need to additionally highlight that FOI requests in Ireland can carry significant costs (€15 per request + €30/hour search fees, €75 internal review, €150 OIC appeal).

Useful Links