Freedom of information (FOI)
What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the legal right to:
- Access your personal records and other official records of Dublin City Council
- Correct or update personal information held about you by Dublin City Council, where this information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
- Be given the reasons behind any decisions taken by Dublin City Council that affect you.
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you a legal right to request any recorded information held by Dublin City Council. You can ask for any information you think the council may hold. The right only covers recorded information. Your request can be in the form of a question, but the council does not have to answer your question if this would mean creating a new record or giving an opinion or judgement that is not already recorded.
You should clearly identify the information you want.
Making an FOI request
To submit a request, complete the below form
Then send it to us at the address shown below
- Or contact us at the address below to request a copy
- Or make your request in writing or by email to the address below quoting the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
If you are requesting records of a personal nature, you will be required to provide your proof of identity by way of official photo identification (passport, driver's licence or public services card).
Note: In order to avoid delays please be as specific as possible when you are requesting records.
"Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 I request records in relation to my Housing Rents file for the last 2 years"
"Under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 I request records created since the year 2004 in relation to the street cleaning contract for the Grafton Street area".
What happens next ?
Your request will proceed through the following steps:
- We will acknowledge receipt of your request within two weeks
- We will make a decision within four weeks (note, if the request is particularly complex or there are large numbers of records involved, this may be extended to eight weeks). In general, if we do not respond within four weeks, the Act deems your request to have been refused.
Is there a fee?
Requests for personal information under FOI are free. Requests for non-personal information may incur fees as listed below if there is a lot of search and retrieval work involved, including photocopying.
- There is no fee where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101 (less than five hours work).
- There is a €20.00 per hour search and retrieval fee and €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy where this exceeds the €101 free allowance.
- There is a maximum of €500 charge where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500, but less than €700.
- Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, we can refuse to process the request. You will be given the opportunity to refine your request.
- Internal review for non-personal requests incurs a fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders).
- An appeal to the Information Commissioner for non-personal requests costs €50 (€15 for medical card holders).
Is an FOI request always necessary?
No. The information you are seeking may already be available. Dublin City Council's policy is to make as much information as possible available outside of the Freedom of Information process. The FOI Act allows access to information that is not routinely available.
Dublin City Council's FOI publication scheme, as required under Section 8 of the FOI Act, provides routinely available information. In addition, there is a wide range of information available on our website. To view a summary of non-personal requests received by Dublin City Council, please follow the links below:
Will Dublin City Council release all the information you request?
It may not be possible to release all of the records you seek access to. Some records may be released in redacted form or refused outright. This will be the case where records contain sensitive material or relate to a third party. Your request may also be refused if it is deemed to be too extensive or unclear. You will be given assistance in this instance to refine your request. If your request is refused, either in part or entirely, you must be given reasons for the refusal.
What are exemptions?
Exemptions are conditions under which certain records are protected. This includes records relating to legal advice, investigations and records relating to another individual. Some are refused outright and some are tested to see if release of the records could be reasonably expected to cause harm.
Can you appeal an FOI decision?
Yes, if your request is initially refused or part-refused you may appeal this decision to a higher officer within Dublin City Council. Again, appeal requests must be received in writing at the address below. If your request is for non-personal records, a fee of €30 made payable to Dublin City Council would apply at this stage.
Can you appeal the Internal Review decision?
Yes, if you are still not satisfied following the Internal Review process, you may seek an independent review of our decision through The Office of the Information Commissioner. A request for review of non-personal information requests will cost €50. The decisions of the Information Commissioner are binding. However, you can appeal a decision to the High Court on a point of law. Requests for appeal should be made to the Office of the Information Commissioner within six months of receiving notification of our decision.
How far back does FOI apply?
In general, the FOI Act relates to information created after April 1998. However, the following situations are exempt from this:
- You can access your personal information regardless of when it was created if it is still in existence.
- Non-personal information created prior to April 1998 where it makes sense of the current record.
Dublin City Council
Freedom of Information Officer
Information Management Unit
Tel: (01) 222 3775
Email: [email protected]