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Freedom of Information

Introduction

These pages are intended to assist you in exercising your rights under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and to assist MIE staff in answering Freedom of Information requests.

What is Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access information held by FOI bodies. FOI bodies must give you an explanation if you are not given what you asked for and the decision must normally be made within 4 weeks.

Under Irish Freedom of Information Legislation, every person has the following rights:

  • The right to access official records held by public bodies prescribed under the Act;
  • The right to have personal information held on the them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete or misleading; and
  • The right to be given reasons for decision taken by public bodies that affect them

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 can be viewed in full here.

Limitations to Access

Access to information is subject to limitations.

The FOI Act 2014 provides that the Institute can refuse to release certain types of information where their release

  • Would cause harm or injury; or
  • Would be prejudicial to the functioning of the Institute; or
  • Would be contrary to the public interest

Should the Institute decide to withhold information under any of the exemptions provided for, that exemption invoked will be set out in detail in the decision letter to the Requester.

An individual has the right to seek a review of the initial decision to refuse access. This will be to a higher authority within the Institute. Should the requester be unhappy with the outcome of the review, he/she may appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner, an independent arbiter under the Act. The internal review will normally take place before an appeal to the Information Commissioner.