What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 give you a legal right to:
access official records held by public bodies listed in the Act
have official information about you changed where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
access the reasons for decisions made by public bodies that affect you.
The Freedom of Information Act came into effect for Fáilte Ireland on 21 October 1998. These rights mean that you can seek access to personal information held by public bodies no matter when the information was created and to other non-personal information created after 21 October 1998.
The Acts defend your right to access official information to the greatest extent possible, as long as it is in the public interest and does not infringe other people’s right to privacy.
If you are refused access to records we will tell you why. A decision on your request will normally be made within four weeks. In certain circumstances, we may extend this four-week period. If this happens, we will contact you, tell you why and give you a new decision date.
What can I ask for?
You can ask for the following records held by Fáilte Ireland:
Any records relating to you personally, regardless of when they were created
All other records created after 21 October 1998
Will there be a charge?
Fáilte Ireland must charge for requests for non-personal records. A fee of €15.00 must accompany your request. A reduced fee of €10.00 applies if you hold a medical card. In some circumstances you may also be charged a fee for the “search and retrieval” of records (€20.95 per hour) and the cost of photocopying documents (4c per page). Generally there will not be any charge for requests for personal information.
Can I appeal against the decision?
Yes. If you are not satisfied with a decision you may ask Fáilte Ireland for an internal review of the decision. This will be conducted by a more senior officer, and will normally be completed within three weeks. Applications for internal reviews relating to non-personal records cost €75.00 (there is a reduced fee of €25.00 for medical card holders).
Where can I get more information?
Fáilte Ireland has published a Section 15 reference book to explain how you can access information held by us under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 1997 and the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003. This guide gives details of the role, structure and functions of Fáilte Ireland; the services we provide and how to access them; the classes of records that we hold; and how to make a request to Fáilte Ireland under the FOI Acts.
You can also visit the website of the Office of the Information Commissioner.