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Freedom of Information

Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and You

The Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 provides the following statutory rights for members of the public

  • the right to access records held by the Public Appointments Service;
  • the right to have personal information, held on you, corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
  • the right to seek reasons for decisions affecting you, taken by the Public Appointments Service.

How does FOI work?

The Acts require the Public Appointments Service to respond to requests from the public for records held by this office. Under the terms of the Acts, responsibility is delegated to specific individuals to examine and decide on requests for the release of records. In most cases the decision must be given within four weeks of receipt of the request. Requesters, who are unhappy with the decision on their request, can appeal to have their request re-examined within four weeks of the initial decision. An Appeals Officer, who can change or agree with the original decision, then reviews the case. This review must be completed within a three week period. If the requester is still unhappy with the decision, he or she has the right to appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

It is important to note that it may not be necessary to make a request for information under the Freedom of information Acts. A considerable amount of material is available through job information booklets, material on http://www.publicjobs.ie, feedback from interviews and in response to oral and written enquiries.

How can a request be made?

Your request must be made in writing and should indicate that the record(s) is sought under the FOI Acts. Please give as much detail as possible to enable the speedy identification of the record(s) concerned. If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records that you require, the staff of the Office will be glad to assist you in preparing your request. It may be helpful to include a contact telephone number so that you can be contacted, if clarification in relation to the records being requested is needed. You can direct requests to Gillian Holmes, FOI Decision-Maker, at the address given below.

Will I be charged?

The following charges apply in relation to requests for records made under the FOI Acts:

Application Fees

Personal Information (only)

  • There is no application fee if your request is for personal information only, as defined in the Acts

Non-personal Information

  • If your request is for a record containing non-personal information, an application fee of €15.00 is payable - €10.00 if you are a current medical card holder.

Search and Retrieval and Copying Fees

Fees may also apply in respect of the time spent searching and retrieving records that are released to you on foot of your request and in respect of the copying of any records released. Such fees are unlikely to arise if your request is for personal information only.

The rates of these fees are as follows:

  • €20.95 per hour for search and retrieval
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
  • €10.16 for a CD-ROM containing copy documents
  • €6.35 for a radiograph (X-ray) containing copy documents

Deposits

A deposit is payable where the estimated cost of search and retrieval of records sought is estimated to exceed €50.79. In such a case, every effort must be made to assist the requester to amend the request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the deposit.

Reductions and Waivers

A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records will be waived, where the cost of collecting and accounting for the fee would exceed the amount of the fee itself (a guideline of less than €10.00 is used in this respect);

A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records or a deposit may be reduced or waived, where the information in the record would be of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance.

 

Section 15 and 16 Manuals

In order to facilitate public access to records held by the Public Appointments Service, a publication is available, as required by Sections 15 and 16 of the Acts. The publication is 'A Guide to the Functions, Records and Rules of the Public Appointments Service' . If you wish to receive a copy of this publication, or if you wish to make an FOI request, please contact the following -

Freedom of Information Decision-Maker:
Gillian Holmes,
Public Appointments Service,
Chapter House,
26 - 30, Abbey Street Upper,
Dublin 1.
Tel: + 353-1-8587639
Lo-Cal: 1890-449999
Ext: 7639
Fax: + 353-1-8587574 Email: mailto:foi@publicjobs.ie(for the attention of Gillian Holmes)

Freedom of Information Appeals Officer:
Catherine Dobbins,
Public Appointments Service,
Chapter House,
26 - 30, Abbey Street Upper,
Dublin 1.
Tel: + 353-1-8587516
Lo-Call: 1890-449999

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