What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information Act came into effect for local authorities on 21st October 1998. This Act gives you the right to access records held by Galway City Council. If you are refused access to records the Council must give you an explanation. A decision on your request will normally be made within four weeks.
What can you ask for?
You can ask for the following records held by Galway City Council:
- Any records relating to you personally, regardless of when they were create.
- All other records created after 21st October 1998.
Will there be a charge?
From 16th October 2014 no initial application fee applies.
In some circumstances you may also be charged a fee for the "search and retrieval" of records (€20.00 per hour) and the cost of photocopying documents (4c per page) for requests for non-personal information.
Please find below a summary of all charges associated with Freedom of Information Requests:
Summary of Fees:
Type of Request / Application Standard Fee Reduced Fee (for medical card holders) Request for a record containing non-personal information Initial Request No Charge No Charge Internal Review €30 €10 Review by Information Commissioner €50 €15 Request for a Record Containing Personal Information No Charge No Charge Application under section 17 for amendment of a record containing incorrect, incomplete or misleading personal information. No Charge No Charge Application under section 18 for the reasons for a decision affecting the individual. No Charge No Charge
No fees apply where the request involves access to your personal records.
Charges for search, retrieval and copying of records
Charges may be applied by the body for the time spent finding and retrieving records, and for any copying costs incurred by them in providing you with the material requested. It is very unlikely that any charges will be applied in respect of personal records, except where a large number of records are involved.
If the cost of search, retrieval and copying is €100 or less, no charge is applied. If the charge exceeds €100, full fees apply. You cannot be charged more than €500.
If the estimated cost of search, retrieval and copying is more than €700 the body can refuse to process your request, unless you refine your request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below this limit.
Type of Charge:
Search & Retrieval of records
€20 per hour
4 cent per sheet
CD-ROM containing copy of documents
Can you appeal the decision?
Yes. If you are not satisfied with a decision you may ask Galway City Council for an internal review of a decision. This will be conducted by a more senior officer, and will normally be completed within three weeks. Applications for internal review relating to non-personal records cost of €30 (there is a reduced fee of €10.00 for medical card holders).
Where can you get more information?
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 is available on the Government website (www.foi.gov.ie) or from the Government Publications Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.
How do you submit a Freedom of Information Request?
Fill in a Request for Access to Records under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 application form or write a letter stating what records you are seeking, specifying that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and send it to the address below:
- Freedom of Information Officer,
Galway City Council
Applications for an Internal Review of FOI decisions should be submitted to:
- Senior Executive Officer,
Galway City Council,
Appeals to the Information Commissioner should be made to:
- Office of the Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street
Lo-call: 1890 223030