What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act came into effect on 21 April, 1998. The Freedom of Information Act 2014 was enacted on 14 October, 2014.
Under FOI you have a right to:
- access records held by a Government Department or certain public bodies
- request correction of personal information relating to you held by a Government Department or certain public bodies where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading
- obtain reasons for a decision made by a Government Department or certain public bodies where the decision affects you
What records can I ask for under FOI?
You can ask for the following records held by a Department or certain bodies:
- any records relating to you personally, whenever created please note that all requests for personal information whether submitted by an individual or a solicitor on their behalf must be accompanied by the following:
- On behalf of an individual – consent of the individual and photographic identification to be one of the following – a current passport, a current drivers licence or a current public services card.
- Individual seeking their own personal records – a current passport, a current drivers licence or a current public services card.
- all other records created after 21 April, 1998
A ‘record’ can be a paper document, information held on computer, printouts, maps, plans, microfilm, microfiche, audio-visual material, etc.
You do not have to give a reason as to why you want access to particular records, and the Government department or body concerned must give you an explanation if it refuses you access to any record that you have looked for. A decision on your FOI application must normally be made within 20 working days.
If you have a specific question on making an FOI request to this Department, please visit our Freedom of Information FAQ.
FOI Publication Scheme
Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires the Department to prepare and publish a scheme concerning the publication of information by the Department. This scheme has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
- General Information about the Department
- Services provided or to be provided to the Public
- Decision-making process for major policy proposals
- Financial Information
- Other Information routinely published
How to make a request
Non-personal FoI Requests
Access our list of non-personal FOI Requests.
Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)
Read more on Access to Information on the Environment (AIE), general information on the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations, which includes background information on the legislation, how to make an AIE application, contact details and fees.
All requests under the FOI Acts should be addressed to:
The information and personal data you submit in making your request will be used for the purposes of processing your FOI request and will be retained for a period, which allows any (Internal/OIC) appeal to be made. The record of your request will be retained for reference and statistical purposes. We will treat all personal data and information you submit as confidential in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018.
The full text of the Department's Data Protection Policy can be found at: Department of Justice Data Protection Policy
You should also note that the details of non-personal FOI requests will be recorded in our non-personal FOI log on our website.