Freedom of Information(FOI)

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides that every person has certain legal rights.

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:

  • general right to access information held by a FOI body;
  • right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where
  • such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, and
  • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by a FOI body that affect them.

The Act asserts the right of every person to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible. There are, however, certain types of information which are exempt from release under the Acts, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals. Among these exemptions are records relating to:

  • Government meetings.
  • Law enforcement and security.
  • Confidential and commercially sensitive information.
  • Personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request).

Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too voluminous or unclear, but public bodies are required under the Act to assist the requester in trying to overcome this.

Routinely Available Information

The FOI Act is designed to facilitate access to information held by public bodies which is NOT routinely available. The Authority makes a wide variety of information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions, activities and schemes. Our websites and extensive range of publications afford access to such information and can be availed of without recourse to the FOI Act.

Making a FOI Request

Requests under the Freedom of Information Act should be made in writing to the

Freedom of Information Officer,

Road Safety Authority,

Moy Valley Business Park,

Primrose Hill,

Ballina, Co. Mayo

or by email to foi@rsa.ie.

A downloadable FOI request form is available here.

It should be clearly indicated that the request is being made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. Please be as specific as possible when detailing your request so as to enable us to process your application. Also, please include a daytime contact telephone number so that we can contact you should any clarification be required in relation to your request.

If you require any help in the formulation of your request the Freedom of Information Officer will be happy to assist you.

The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it.

Charges

There is no charge for submitting a request. However, in accordance with the legislation, charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the Authority in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the body can refuse to process the request.

Details of charges/fees are summarised below:

• Submitting a request: No charge.
• Search and Retrieval: €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above.
• Photocopy: €0.04 per sheet.
• Internal review: €30 (€10 for medical card holders).
• Appeal to the Information Commissioner: €50 (€15 for medical card holders).

Notes:
1. There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records.
2. If you are claiming a reduced application fee, you will be requested to provide proof of your eligibility for the reduced fee.

Details of the actual charges, if any, relating to your request will be notified to you in writing.

Internal Review

You may appeal any decision issued by the Authority by writing to the Freedom of Information Officer seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) normally applies for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

You should make such an appeal within 4 weeks from the date of response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances). The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the Authority and a decision will be communicated to you within 3 weeks.

Appeal to the Information Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with the decision following the Internal Review process, you may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. If you make such an appeal, the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision. Appeals should be addressed to:

The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street,
Dublin 2.

Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall: 1890 22 30 30
Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
E-mail: info@oic.ie

A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

Useful Links

FOI Request Form

Office of the Information Commissioner

Further Information

More comprehensive information on Freedom of Information, including the text of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, is available here.