FOI - Freedom of Information

Important Update from the FOI Officer – Department of Education & Skills

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 Education and Skills.

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uncertainty in the State, I would ask that you understand the difficulties arising and consider your existing request “withdrawn” and then resubmit it at the appropriate time.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.

Description

The FOI Act provides the following statutory rights:

  • the right to access records held by public bodies covered by the Act
  • the right to have personal information in a record amended where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • the right to obtain reasons for decisions taken by public bodies affecting the person.

The Act distinguishes between personal and non-personal information. You can access your personal information regardless of when it was created if it is still in existence. You can only access non-personal information which has been created after the 21st April 1998 (commencement date of the FOI Act).

How to Apply

You should make your request in writing to:

The Freedom of Information Unit, Department of Education and Skills, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1, D01 RC96

or by e-mail to: foi@education.gov.ie

When making your request, you should state that you are making your request under the FOI Act. You should also be as specific as possible to enable the information to be identified easily and, if possible, indicate the time-frame which applies to your request e.g. between May 2013-December 2013.  Also, if possible, try to specify the areas of the Department which you feel would be most relevant to your request.

The Department’s FOI Publication Scheme as required under section 8 of the FOI Act, provides information in relation to the structure of the Department, its records and its decision making which may help you to identify areas within the Department relevant to your request.

If you wish you can use the Department's standard FOI Application Form to make your request or the Application Form for Former Residents of Industrial and Reformatory Schools for Access to Records depending on the type of information which you are seeking.

If you have a specific question on making an FOI request to this Department, please visit our Freedom of Information Frequently Asked Questions FAQs.

For more comprehensive information on Freedom of Information including the text of the FOI Acts, please visit the FOI Central Policy Unit website at www.foi.gov.ie.

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