INFORMATION REGARDING FOI REQUESTS DURING GOVERNMENT DIRECTED INSTITUTE CLOSURE:
The government have directed the closure of all Institutes until the end of March 2020. During this time it may not be possible to fully process requests under the Freedom of Information Act as the majority of our staff will be working remotely and may not have full access to all the relevant folders and systems.
We ask for your patience in this unprecedented situation and assure you that we will process all requests received in as timely a manner as possible when the Institute re-opens.
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT FREEDOM OF INFORMATION PUBLICATIONS
Under Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 FOI bodies are required to prepare and publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis, having regard to the principles of openness transparency and accountability as set out in Sections 8(5) and 11(3) of the Act.
Our publication scheme webpage can be found here: AIT PUBLICATIONS
YOUR RIGHTS UNDER FOI
Under Irish Freedom of Information Legislation every person has the following legal rights:
· the right to access official records held by public bodies prescribed under the Act;
· the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
· the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.
INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO YOU UNDER FOI
The following records come within the scope of the FOI Acts:
· all records relating to personal information held by AIT irrespective of when they were created.
· all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act (21 April 1998).
· any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21 April 1998.
· personnel records of serving staff created from 21st April, 1995 and those created prior to that date where being used or proposed to be used in a way which adversely affects or may affect the person involved.
However, in order to allow AIT 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 Part 4 of the .
Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too voluminous or unclear but AIT is obliged to assist the requester in trying to overcome this.
HOW TO MAKE AN APPLICATION
· All applications must be in writing and should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
· Requests should be as specific as possible to enable the relevant information to be efficiently identified and retrieved.
· If information is desired in a particular format i.e. photocopy, computer disk, etc. the requester should also indicate this in their application.
· The requester may be required to prove his/her identity, particularly when requesting personal information using an acceptable form of identification, i.e. passport, driving licence, birth certificate, etc.
The Freedom of Information Officer of the Institute will be happy to assist the requester in the formulation of their request at all times. If you would like to exercise one or more of the FOI rights in relation to information that may be held by AIT. You should send a request either, in writing or by email, to:
Ms. Betty Brennan,
Information and Data Compliance Officer,
Athlone Institute of Technology,
Dublin Road, Athlone, Co. Westmeath
Tel: +353 (90) 6468009; E-mail: email@example.com
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST
There is no charge for submitting a request. In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred in providing the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the body can refuse to process the request. Details of actual charges relating to a request will be notified to the requester in writing. A list of relevant fees is set out below:
LIST OF FEES
· There is no charge for submitting a request.
· Search and Retrieval – €20 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above.
· €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy.
· Internal review fee €30 (€10 for medical card holders).
· Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50 (€15 for medical card holders).
FURTHER INFORMATION ON FEES
1. There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records.
2. If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing Health Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that Health Board.
3. A full list of fees is available on request.
If you are not satisfied with the decision on an FOI request, you may ask for an “internal review” of the decision. A more senior officer will review your application.
You will be told the result of this review within 3 weeks. You may appeal any decision issued by AIT by writing to the Information and Data Compliance Officer,
Ms. Betty Brennan, Athlone institute of Technology, Dublin Road, Athlone, Tel: +353 (90) 6468009, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date of the initial response (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances).
APPEAL TO THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of the Information Commissioner.
If you make an appeal the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision.
All appeals should be addressed to:
6 Earlsfort Terrace,
Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689; Locall: 1890 22 30 30; Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674; E-mail: email@example.com
A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
The following useful links will provide further information which may help to answer some of your questions.
If, however, you have any remaining queries, please do not hesitate to contact:
Ms. Betty Brennan
Information and Data Compliance Officer
Athlone Institute of Technology
Tel: +353 (90) 6468009