Laois Education Centre recognises the importance of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and to assist administrative compliance with the Act Laois Education Centre will endeavour to ensure that:
This policy is intended to cover all records created in Laois Education Centre, i.e., records which are also public records under the terms of the Public Records Acts 1958 and 1967. This includes email messages and other electronic records. The policy outlines good practice and identifies the responsibilities of the Management and staff of Laois Education Centre in terms of Freedom of Information.
Responsibilities for Freedom of Information
Ultimate responsibility for Freedom of Information rests with the Management of Laois Education Centre but all staff members who record information, whether on paper or by electronic means, also have responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act and under this policy.
It is the responsibility of the staff to:
Respond to requests for information, either by supply of the information or referral of requests for exempted information are followed up.
The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides that from 21st April 1998, every person has the following legal rights:
Laois Education Centre recognises the importance of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 and to assist organisational compliance with the Act, Laois Education Centre will endeavour to ensure that all appropriate information will be made available to the requester having regard for confidentiality, privacy, discretion and the public interest.
It is the policy of Laois Education Centre to support the individual’s right to view any information held about them within its facility. Access to an individual’s own records should be provided administratively – subject to exemptions
Exemptions occur when:
Access to information cannot be provided to you directly under administrative access, you will be informed of this and advised of the option of making an application under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Similarly, certain information maybe of such a sensitive nature that requests for access can only be dealt with under the Freedom of Information legislation.
Applying for Information
Any individual applying for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 may do so in writing to Laois Education Centre. The individual must provide sufficient information to assist in locating their records, including; date of birth, current and previous addresses, any contacts they had with specific services and approximate dates.
Laois Education Centre will need to verify by appropriate means the identity of an individual, therefore the individual may be asked for proof of identity, for example providing a copy of current passport or driver’s license (or other suitable identification). This is necessary so as to protect confidentiality. There will generally be no charge for copies of personal records. However, Laois Education Centre have the right to charge, if the quantity of records are very large, for photocopying. (See scale of charges below).
Two types of charges apply –
“Up-front” fees that must accompany a request for a non-personal record under section 7 (or a subsequent application for review)
Fees/deposits in relation to search and retrieval and reproduction costs of records releasedto a requester. Full details of all Freedom of Information charges are contained in CPU Notice 11, a copy of which is available on the Freedom of Information website at www.Freedom of Information.gov.ie. A summary of Freedom of Information fees is set out below.
|Type of Request/Application||Standard Fee*||Reduced Fee * **|
Request for a non-personal record
Review by Information Commissioner
Request for a personal record
Application under section 17 for amendment of a record containing incorrect, incomplete or misleading personal information
Application under section 18 for the reasons for a decision affecting the individual
* Fee will not apply where a person appeals a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount.
** Reduced fee will apply in respect of persons covered by a medical card and third parties who appeal a decision of a public body to release their information on public interest grounds
Fees for search and retrieval and copying of records released
Search and retrieval: €20.95 per hour*
Copying charges **
Photocopy per sheet: €0.04
Floppy disk: €0.51
CD Rom: €10.16
Disregarded if only personal information is contained in the record except where the grant of the request relates to a significant amount of records.
** Disregarded if only personal information is contained in recorded and it would not be reasonable, having regard to the means of the requester, to apply a charge.
Laois Education Centre will undertake to make available to the public up to date details of the policies and procedures under which it operates. This information will be published on our website and may also be made available to individuals on request. A requester may seek access to non-personal information and Laois Education Centre will process this request under this policy. An individual must apply in writing to the Administrative Office, Laois Education Centre, Block Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois
Other Procedures for Access to Records
Records and Information are the property of the organisation at which they are held, i.e. Laois Education Centre. All records and information are kept under strict security and apart from the circumstances above, may only be removed from Laois Education Centre under the following conditions: –
Current statutory provisions in Education/Health legislation may apply to disclosure of information. Therefore, the release of such records/information will be made on the grounds of public interest and on the basis of upholding, enforcing and/or administering the law.
Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act provides that from 21 April, 1998, every person has the following new legal rights:
These rights mean that from 21 April, 1998, people can seek access to personal information held on them - no matter when the information was created - and to other records created after 21 April, 1998.
Entitlements under the Freedom of Information Act.
Details of your entitlements to Internal Review and appeal will be included in the decision letter.
The Freedom of Information Act was introduced to:
The Act sets out three new legal rights: -
These rights extend to an individual’s own records and in specific circumstances, to those of their children and deceased relatives. There are exemptions provided for in the Acts, this means that there are specific circumstances when the requested information will not be released, e.g. to protect confidentiality. If any of these exemptions are used to withhold information, the reasons will be clearly explained.
Records to be accessed under Freedom of Information
Under the Act, the following records are accessible:
An individual may make a request for access to records. This request must be in writing stating that the request is made under the Freedom of Information Act and containing sufficient particulars in relation to the information concerned to enable the record to be identified.
A member of the public has the right to request information regarding acts of public bodies affecting them. A Freedom of Information request is a formal procedure and the public body is required to respond within four weeks. The request will be considered in accordance with the Act having regard to the exemptions provided for which include:
Making a Request under the Freedom of Information Act
A request must be made in writing;
Freedom of Information requests can be sent by post to
Laois Education Centre, Block Road, Portlaoise, Co Laois.
Details of Freedom of Information Process and Rights to Appeal:
Incorrect Information - Amendments of Records
Section 9 of The Freedom of Information 2014 states “ (1) Where personal information in a record held by an Freedom of Information body is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, the head of the body shall, on application to him or her in that behalf, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, by the individual to whom the information relates, amend the record— (a) by altering it so as to make the information complete or correct or not misleading, as may be appropriate, (b) by adding to the record a statement specifying the respects in which the body is satisfied that the information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, as may be appropriate, or (c) by deleting the information from it. (2) An application under subsection (1) shall, in so far as is practicable— (a) specify the record concerned and the amendment required, and (b) include
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