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Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 1997 (FOI) as amended by the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 obliged Government departments, the Health Service Executive (HSE), local authorities and a range of other public bodies to publish information on their activities and to make the information they held, including personal information, available to citizens.

On 14 October 2014, the Freedom of Information ACT 2014 came into effect and repealed the 1997 and 2003 Acts.

The new Act introduced a number of changes to the Freedom of Information scheme and widened the range of bodies to which the FOI legislation applies to all public bodies, unless specifically exempt. It also allows for the Government to prescribe (or designate) other bodies receiving significant public funds, so that the FOI legislation applies to them also.

The old legislation continues to apply to any FOI request made before the new legislation came into effect. It also applies to any subsequent review or appeal.

The Freedom of Information officer can be contacted at

FOI Publication scheme

Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires FOI bodies to prepare and publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, having regard to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability as set out in Sections 8(5) and 11(3) of the Act.

This allows for the publication or giving of records outside of FOI provided that such publication or giving of access is not prohibited by law.

The scheme commits FOI bodies to making information available as part of their normal business activities in accordance with this scheme.

For further information visit the Freedom of Information website.

How to make an FOI request

The request must be in writing to the FOI body that holds the records.

Requests can also be made by email.

For example: If you want records about a policy matter at the National Shared Services Office, you must apply to FOI Officer in the NSSO.

1. When you make a request you must:

  • submit the request in writing to the NSSO.
  • specify that the request is being made under the FOI Act
  • be clear enough so that the NSSO understands what records are being requested. In cases where the NSSO is not clear what records are being requested, it must assist the requester to put his/her request in such a way that the records being sought can be identified.

When you are seeking information which is personal, you will be required to supply the appropriate identification as required by the decision maker.

In cases where you are seeking to access records relating to a deceased person under section 37(8), you will be required to provide additional details in order to exercise these rights.

Go to the Freedom of Information website for further information on completing an FOI application form for the NSSO.

Each Public Body has one or more FOI Officers whose responsibility it is to handle requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2014.