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FOI Requests

Make an FOI Request to the Standards Commission

What records can I look for through this website?

You can make a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for records held by the Standards in Public Office Commission through this website.

 Freedom of Information Act 2014

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI Act 2014) came into effect on Tuesday, 14 October 2014, subject to certain commencement dates for the specific provisions set out in section 1 of the Act.

The new Act can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2014/en/act/pub/0030/index.html

Further general information about FOI may be found here: http://foi.gov.ie/

 Records held by the Standards Commission not subject to FOI

You may apply to the Standards Commission for certain information held by it, but the FOI Act 2014 limits the records which may be accessed. The FOI Act 2014 does not apply to the following records held by the Standards Commission:

·         Records which contain information obtained under the Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 and 2001) or by being present at a sitting of the Standards Commission held in private (Section 35 of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995, which provides for limited exceptions to this provision);

·         Records containing certificates of monetary donations or bank statements furnished by persons in connection with their obligations regarding political donations under the Electoral Act 1997, as amended.

What records of the Standards Commission are covered?

Records about the general administration of the Standards Commission are covered by the FOI Act, subject to applicable exemptions set out in the legislation. Further detailed information is available in the Commission's FOI Publication Scheme. For information about the records which the Commission holds, you may contact Mr Brian McKevitt, FOI Officer, at 01-6395713 or foi@sipo.ie.

How to make a request

To request records held by the Standards Commission, please write to us stating that you are making a request under the FOI Act 2014. You should address your request to the FOI Officer, Standards in Public Office Commission, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, or send an email to foi@sipo.gov.ie.

Your letter should:

1.    refer to the FOI Act;

2.    give as much information as possible about the records being sought;

3.    indicate whether the records requested are personal or non-personal;

4.    specify if you would like to obtain copies of the record or would prefer access in another form

How you can help us deal with your request

If you are looking for a record you should provide as much information as possible to allow us find it. If you want it in a particular format (e.g. a photocopy, transcript, computer disk; or if you want to examine it) you should state this clearly in your request.

Amending a record held by the Standards Commission

If you are looking for an amendment to a record, your request should identify the record concerned and the amendment required, and provide evidence that the amendment is necessary.

How we will help you in making your request

The FOI Act says that the public (FOI) body should help a person who is looking for a record under the FOI Act. It specifically states that assistance should be provided where the requester has a disability. In addition, this Office may contact you to clarify your request with you.

Do I have to pay a fee?

In certain circumstances fees are charged under the FOI Act 2014. There is no fee for making an initial FOI request; the fee for an internal review is €30, or €10 for the holder of a medical card. If a fee is payable in respect of an internal review to this Office you may pay by cheque, bank draft or postal order.

Requesters can also be charged for the time spent finding records that are to be given to them, and for any photocopying costs incurred by the public body in providing material to the requester. Such costs are very unlikely to arise in the case of personal information. Requesters cannot be charged for the time spent on deciding whether or not to grant their request.

How long will it take?

Once the Standards Commission receives a request it has up to four weeks to make a decision. The decision will be issued to you in writing and will specify whether or not your request is being granted, part-granted or refused and will give you the reason(s) behind the decision.

What if I am unhappy with the decision?

If you are unhappy with the decision or if after the four weeks you have not received a decision (this is called a refusal to your FOI request by non-reply) your next step is to apply for an 'internal review'.

An 'internal review' is an appeals mechanism within this Office which will be carried out by an officer who is more senior than the individual who made the decision on your original request. To request an internal review you must write to this Office referring to the decision received (if one was made) and state that you are making an internal review appeal. You cannot raise any further issues in your internal review appeal: The sole purpose of the review is for another officer to reconsider the decision on your original request only. This Office has three weeks to make a decision on your request for an internal review.