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Frequently Asked Questions

Almost any record held by MIE can be sought under Freedom of Information (FOI). The only necessity (unless you are seeking reasons for a decision) is that it is contained in an existing record. A record is defined as including any memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, pictorial or graphic work or other documents, any photograph, film or recording, or any form in which data is held.

Should you wish to make a request for access to records, we would first advise that you view MIE's Publication Scheme. The majority of information about the Institute can be gained through this. However, should the required information not be set out in the Publication Scheme, you may make a request for access to information as follows:

  • Your application should be in writing and must state that your request is made under Section 12 of the FOI Act 2014.
  • Alternatively, you may download and complete the Institute’s FOI Application Form.
  • Indicate clearly that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
  • Indicate if the information is required in a particular form i.e. email, photocopy, computer disk, etc.
  • Include as much detail as possible to enable the staff of the Institute to identify the record. If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records that you require, the FOI Office will be happy to assist you in preparing your request
  • Provide full contact details including a telephone number and e-mail address where available so that you may be contacted if it is necessary to clarify the details of your request.
Send your request to the FOI Office at MIE or email foi@mie.ie. You may be required to provide identification especially when requesting personal information. A typical form of identification that you could be asked to produce will be your passport, driving licence, student ID card or birth certificate.

If you believe that a record held by MIE concerning you is incorrect, incomplete or misleading you can apply to have it amended as follows:

  • Your application should be in writing and must state that your request is made under Section 9 of the FOI Act 2014.
  • Alternatively, you may download and complete the Institute's FOI request to have information amended form.
  • You must give details of the information, which you believe is incorrect, incomplete or misleading.
  • You must specify the amendments that you wish to have made.
  • You should also supply appropriate information in support of your application

Following your application you will receive an acknowledgement of your request no later than two weeks from the date on which MIE receives it. MIE is normally obliged to respond to the request within four weeks. A longer period may be applicable in certain circumstances; for example, where consultation with third parties is required. In all cases, you will be informed by the MIE of the expected decision date.

Not all records which may be sought under FOI will be made available to the requester. Some records will be released in edited versions or refused outright. The reason for this is that certain material may be considered sensitive or private as they may relate to a third party.

There are also exemptions under the FOI Act 2014 upon which MIE can refuse an FOI request in whole or in part.

There are exemptions under the FOI Act 2014 upon which MIE can refuse an FOI request in whole or in part. Exemptions are conditions under which certain records are protected. This includes records which contain confidential and commercially sensitive information, records containing personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request) and records relating to investigations and legal advice.

There is no initial application fee under the FOI Act 2014 and there is no fee charged for a request for personal information. However, the FOI Act 2014 does allow a fee to be charged in situations where the request relates to a significant number of records, this fee will be charged having regard to the circumstances of the requester. There are no fees charged in respect of an application for reasons for a decision affecting the requester or an application requesting the amendment of a personal record held by MIE.

In relation to non-personal information, fees are charged in respect of the time spent searching, retrieving and copying records that are released to the requester:

  • There is a minimum threshold of €100.00 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees can be charged. Once the charge exceeds €100.00, full fees apply:
  • €20.00 per hour - search and retrieval
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
  • There is a cap on the amount of search, retrieval and copying fees that can be charged of €500.00.
  • There is a further upper limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees of €700.00 above which MIE can refuse to process the request, unless the requester is prepared to refine the request to bring the search, retrieval and copying fees below the limit.
  • MIE reserves the right to seek a deposit from a requester prior to undertaking any search, retrieval or copying.

Review and Appeal Fees

A charge applies to internal reviews and appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning access to non-personal records. There are fee reductions available for medical card holders. A fee of €30.00 (€15.00 for medical card holders) is charged in relation to the internal review of a decision. A fee of €50.00 (€15.00 for medical card holders) is charged in relation to the review of a decision by the Information Commissioner.

Rights of Review and Appeal

The Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may be damaging or inappropriate. Where MIE invokes these provisions to withhold information, the decision may be appealed. Decisions in relation to deferral of access, charges, forms of access, etc. may also be the subject of appeal. Details of the review and appeals mechanisms are provided below.

Internal Review

If you are not happy with a decision made by MIE in response to your FOI request and would like to appeal the decision, you can do so by sending a request in writing asking for an internal review of the decision to Freedom of Information Officer, Marino Institute of Education, Griffith Ave, Dublin 9 or email foi@mie.ie. You may seek an internal review of the initial decision if:
  • You are dissatisfied with the initial response received, i.e. refusal of information, form of access, fees, etc.
  • You have not received a reply within four weeks of your initial application. This is deemed to be a refusal of your request and allows you to proceed to internal review.

The appeal process will involve a full reassessment of your original FOI request by a member of the senior staff not involved in the initial decision. The reviewer can change or agree with the original decision made. You will be told the result of this review within three weeks. An internal review fee of €30.00 (€10.00 for medical card holders) is applicable when appealing a decision and this is to be sent with your written appeal submission. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or an appeal in relation to a decision by MIE to impose a fee or deposit.

Requests for internal review should be submitted in writing to the FOI Office.

Review by the Information Commissioner

If, after the internal review, you are unsatisfied with the decision or you have not received a reply to your application for internal review within three weeks (this is deemed a refusal) and you would like to appeal again, your appeal should be directed to the Office of the Information Commissioner. This right may only be exercised when the decision is first appealed internally to MIE. A fee of €50.00 (€15.00 for medical card holders) is charged on any appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner. In most cases, the decision of the Information Commissioner is final; however there is a right to appeal to the High Court on a point of law only.

Appeals, in writing, may be made directly to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner

18 Lower Leeson Street

Dublin 2

Tel. No.: (01) 6785222

Fax: (01) 661 0570

E-mail: foiombudsman.irlgov.ie

Website: www.irlgov.ie/oic

No, only you can gain access to your personal records, unless you give your authorisation for someone else to access them on your behalf. Such authorisation should be made in writing. Data Protection Rights under the Data Protection Act 1988 & 2003 continue unchanged by FOI. The fact that records may be also available under the Data Protection Act does not exclude them from access under FOI. When MIE receives an FOI request from a requester seeking personal information, we will consider the request under data protection requirements to enable us to give the requester the maximum amount of their information, taking into account both sets of legislation.