This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
Advertisement

Ever wanted to ask the Gardaí something about their records? Now you can

A new law extends Freedom of Information requests to cover limited areas of an Garda Síochána and other organisations. They don’t have to answer you though…

PRESIDENT MICHAEL D Higgins signed the new Freedom of Information Act into law yesterday.

The FOI Act 2014 gives people a right of access to records held by many public bodies including Government Departments, the HSE and Local Authorities.

The new law extends the scope of FOI legislation to cover limited areas of An Garda Síochana, the Central Bank and refugee agencies, as well as NAMA, the NTMA and the National Pension Reserve Fund.

It also abolishes the €15 fee required to make an FOI request. However, reduced charges still apply for appeals.

In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on an FOI request within 4 weeks of receiving it.

The Office of the Information Commissioner reviews these decisions.

Voluntary hospitals, major providers of services to people with disabilities, some broadcasters and third level bodies also fall under the Act – as does Irish Water.

A full list of organisations covered by the Act is available here, while information on how to make an FOI request can be found here.

foi sept requests Source: Office of the Information Commissioner

Below is a round-up of some of the stories TheJournal.ie has produced based on FOI requests:

  • Over 1,800 attempts were made at Leinster House to access pornographic websites over a four-month period in 2013 (not by TDs or Senators, though…)

foi porn

  • There is no written record of the Taoiseach asking for documents related to the bank guarantee.

foi bank guarantee

  • Almost €7,000 was spent in the Dáil’s two bars during the late night debate on abortion in July 2013.

foi dáil bar

foi priory hall

  • There were almost 3,500 incidents from May-October 2013 where paramedics had to attend alone, putting their safety at risk.

foi paramedics

  • It’s also how we found out that Queen Elizabeth gave Enda Kenny a bottle of very fancy whiskey in 2011.

foi whiskey

So, are there any questions you’d like us to ask that might be covered under the Act?

The €15 fee for Freedom of Information requests is being abolished

How will the new Freedom of Information charges compare to other countries?

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Órla Ryan

Read next:

COMMENTS (18)