FOI – Access to Information

Freedom of Information

The new Freedom of Information Act 2014 came into effect on 14th October 2014. The National Council for Special Education (NCSE) is subject to the Act.

The Freedom of Information Acts assert the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals.

The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:

  • the right to access official records held by Government Departments and all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act;
  • the 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 public bodies that affect them.

The NCSEs FOI Publication Scheme can be accessed here

How does FOI work?

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.

How can I make a FOI Request to the NCSE?

You should send a request either, in writing or by email, to

Freedom of Information Officer
The National Council for Special Education
1-2 Mill Street
Trim
Co. Meath

Email foi@ncse.ie

 

What should my request include?

  • A statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act;
  • As much information as possible about the records being sought in order to enable the NCSE to identify the records you require and the timeframe which applies to your request and;
  • Include a telephone number or e-mail address and your postal address; this will assist should the NCSE need to contact you
  • In what format you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies)
  • When seeking personal information, you will be required to prove your identity and will be requested to provide a copy of your Driving License, Passport or other form of identification. Please include a copy of this identification with any personal information FOI requests.

The NCSE will acknowledge receipt of your request in writing within 10 working days. The acknowledgement letter will also provide you with the name and contact details of the person who will be making the decision in relation to your request and will advise you when you can expect to receive this decision.

Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act?

There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges).

What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request?

You may appeal any decision issued by writing to Freedom of Information, NCSE, 1-2 Mill Street, Trim, Co Meath seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply 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 your 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 NCSE and a decision will be communicated to you within 3 weeks.

What if I am not satisfied with the decision on internal review?

You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision. All 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

 

Is there a fee?

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.

 

Where can I get more information on FOI?

For more information on Freedom of Information including the text of the FOI Acts, please visit www.foi.gov.ie

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Access to Information on the Environment

The NCSE is also subject to the regulations governing requests for access to information on the environment. If you wish to make a request under these regulations, you may send your request to

The National Council for Special Education
1-2 Mill Street
Trim
Co. Meath

Email foi@ncse.ie

 

Further information on the requirements for making a request are provided here:

http://www.environ.ie/en/Environment/AccesstoInformationontheEnvironment/

SI 133 of 2007 Access to Information on the Environment- Official Guidelines

SI 133 of 2007 Access to Information on the Environment