The Freedom of Information Act (FOI)
allows public access to information not routinely available through any other source. It was applied to local authorities in 1998.
What information can be accessed under the FOI Act?
Subject to exemptions, the Act gives right of access to the following records held by Waterford County Council:
- all records created after the date the Act came into effect, 21 October, 1998,
- records created before that date if they are needed to understand records created after it, and
- personal records, no matter when created.
- personnel records created from 21 October 2005 (three years before the Act came into effect) may be accessed by the individual to whom the records relate.
The Act does not apply to:
The Act does not apply to routinely available information, such as, leaflets, public notices and publications advertised in the press as available for viewing. This information will continue to be freely available and so does not require access to be sought under Freedom of Information.
Information available under other legislation, such as planning and environmental information, is also excluded from the Freedom of Information Act. Your right to this information under other legislation will not change.
How do I make a request?
You must make a request in writing and state that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act. To help us deal with your request as quickly as possible, please be as specific as possible and put your request in a letter. We may need to verify requests sent by fax or e-mail.
If you wish to receive the information in any particular form, for example photocopy or computer disc, please indicate this in your request.
Any request for non-personal information must be accompanied by a fee of €15.00. A request may not be considered unless the fee is paid up front.
The Freedom of Information Officer is:
Waterford County Council
Telephone: 058 20886
How long does a request take to process?
We will acknowledge your request within two weeks of receiving it and will issue a decision on it within four weeks unless an extension, of up to four weeks, is agreed with you.
An Internal Review may be sought if you:
- are dissatisfied with the initial response received, for example refusal of information, form of access, charges and so on,
- have not received a reply within four weeks of your initial application.
An Internal Review
What does an internal review involve?
An internal review comprises a full and complete reconsideration of the request. It is carried out by an official, at a higher grade than the original decision maker.
How do I ask for an internal review?
You must send your request to the Internal Reviewer in Waterford County Council, within 4 weeks of the date of issue of the decision (or if a decision is not issued, within 4 weeks of the date on which a decision should have been issued). The request for review must be accompanied by an up front fee of €75.00.
The Internal Reviewer, for Waterford Co. Council, is:
Freedom of Information (Internal Review) Officer
Waterford County Council
Phone: 058 22025
An independent review carried out by the Information Commissioner
What can I do if I am not happy with the decision on internal review?
If you are unhappy with the decision by the Internal Reviewer or if you have not received a reply within three weeks of submitting your request, you may ask for an independent review by the Information Commissioner.
Appeals should be directed to:
Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Phone: 1890 223030
You must include a fee of €150.00 with your request.