The Freedom of Information Act 2014 asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available.
Each person has a right to:
Freedom of Information requests must be made in writing and addressed to: The Freedom of Information Officer, IMMA, Royal Hospital, Military Road, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, D08 FW31 or via email to [email protected]
You can find further information, guidelines and resources relevant to the Freedom of Information Act 2014 on the excellent FOI website, which is maintained by the Freedom of Information Central Policy Unit in the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform.
Access to your own personal data is also covered in the recent GDPR legislation. You can read IMMA’s Data Protection policy here
There are some differences between the acts, which is summarised by the Data Protection Commission as follows:
The Freedom of Information Acts grant every person a right, subject to certain restrictions, to access information held by Government Departments, agencies and other designated bodies in receipt of State funding. The FOI Acts also allow for persons to seek access to their own data held by such bodies.
The requirements of the Data Protection Acts apply to all legal entities in this jurisdiction whether Government, private, voluntary or charitable that control personal data. The Acts place obligations on such entities in terms of how they process personal data. One of these obligations is to give a person a copy of their personal data on request. This right to access personal data is subject to very limited exemptions.
When a public body covered by Freedom of Information legislation receives an FOI request from a person for their own information, they are required to also consider the request under data protection requirements and give the person the maximum amount of their information taking account of both sets of legislation. More detailed guidance is available here
Data Protection and Freedom of Information in the Public Sector (pdf)
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