Freedom of Information

What is Freedom of Information (FOI)?

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:

  • the right to access official records held by Government Departments and all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act;
  • the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and
  • the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.

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.

How does FOI work?

The FOI Act requires the Regulator of the National Lottery to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it.

How can I make a FOI Request to the Regulator of the National Lottery?

You should send a request either (in writing or by email) for the attention of the Freedom of Information Officer:

Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery,
Block D,
Irish Life Centre,
Lower Abbey Street,
Dublin 1.

Eircode: D01 W2H4
Tel: +353 (1) 8727932
E-mail: foi@rnl.ie

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;
  • In what format you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies).

Alternatively, you may download the FoI Form RNL and submit this to the Office of The Regulator of the National Lottery at the above address. A response will be given no later than 4 weeks upon receipt of Request.

Can I get access to any information that I seek?

The following records come within the scope of the FOI Act:

  • All records relating to personal information held by the RNL 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 office 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 FOI Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:

  • Government meetings,
  • Law enforcement and security,
  • Confidential and commercially sensitive information,
  • Records not held by a public body,
  • Personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request).

Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too voluminous or unclear but the RNL is obliged to assist the requester in trying to overcome this.

Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act?

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 by the RNL in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee will be charged.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum charge of €500 will apply.  Where the cost of search, retrieval, and copying is greater than €700, the RNL can refuse to process the request. Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing.  Payment should be made by way of Electronic Funds Transfer. Please contact the RNL for bank details. A list of relevant fees is set out below:

List of Fees

  • There is no charge for submitting a request,
  • Search and Retrieval – €20.00 per hour (for requests that exceed the €100.00 minimum in terms of search, retrieval and copying), subject to the ceilings mentioned above,
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy,
  • Internal review fee €30.00 (€10.00 for medical card holders),
  • Appeal to the Information Commissioner €50.00 (€15.00 for medical card holders).

Notes:

  1. There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there is 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.

What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request?

Individuals have the right to seek an internal review following a refusal of their FOI request.. You may also 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:

The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street,
Dublin 2.

Tel:  +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall:    1890 22 30 30
Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
E-mail: info@oic.ie

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.

Where can I get more information on FOI?

The Information Commissioner,

18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2

Tel:  +353 (1) 639 5689

Locall:     1890 253 238

Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674

E-mail: info@oic.gov.ie

More comprehensive information on Freedom of Information, including the text of the FOI Act is available at www.foi.gov.ie.