What is Freedom of Information?
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 was enacted on 14 October 2014. The FOI Act 2014 applies to the City of Dublin Education and Training Board as and from 14 April 2015.
Under the FOI Act 2014 you have a right to:
- access official records held by Government departments and all public bodies that confirm to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act
- to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and
- to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them
These rights are subject to certain exemptions which are set out in the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
How do I make an FOI request to SUSI?
SUSI, operating as a business unit of the City of Dublin Education and Training Board (CDETB), is Ireland’s single national awarding authority for all higher and further education grants. The City of Dublin Education and Training Board derives its authority to administer the annual Student Grant Scheme from a 2012 Designation Order by the Minister for Education and Skills and operates under a Management Framework Agreement in place with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
If you wish to make a Freedom of Information request regarding records pertaining to SUSI, the request must be submitted in writing as follows:
By post to: Freedom of Information Officer, City of Dublin ETB, Town Hall, 1-3 Merrion Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
By email to: email@example.com
Your request should include the following:
- a statement that the request is being made under the FOI Act
- as much information as possible about the records being sought
- proof of ID if the request is for personal information
- the time period for which you wish to access records, e.g. records created between June 2013 and December 2013
- a daytime telephone number and email address, if possible, so that you may be contacted quickly if it is necessary to clarify any information.
Further information on making an FOI to CDETB is available on the CDETB website – http://cityofdublin.etb.ie/freedom-of-information/ .
Appealing a decision
If you are not satisfied with the decision made, you can seek an internal review of the decision, which is a complete and new review of your request. This review will be conducted by someone in the organisation more senior than the original decision maker.
If following this you are still not satisfied, you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
There is no fee for making an initial application under FOI. However, in the case of requests which relate to non-personal information, there may be a fee charged for search, retrieval and copying. In relation to the search, retrieval and copying charges there is a minimum threshold of €101 below which no search, retrieval and copying charges can be charged. There is a cap on the amount that can be charged and this is set at €500
The fee for an internal review is €30 and €10 for medical card holders and their dependents. The fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner is €50 and €15 for medical card holders and their dependents.
Any official information held by public bodies can be sought under the Act. However, in order to allow Government business to be properly conducted, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances. These are set out in the Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings
- deliberations, functions and negotiations of FOI bodies
- law enforcement and security
- confidential and commercially sensitive information
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
For more comprehensive information on Freedom of Information including the text of the FOI Act, please visit the FOI Central Policy Unit website at www.foi.gov.ie.