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Freedom of Information

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As Gaeilge

What is Freedom of Information - FOI?

The new Freedom of Information Act 2014 came into effect on 14th October 2014.

The Freedom of Information Acts assert 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 of individuals.  

The Act established three new statutory rights:

  • A legal right for each person to access information held by public bodies;
  • A legal right for each person to have official information relating to himself or herself amended when it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and
  • A legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting oneself.

Under the Freedom of Information Acts, everyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available.  You have a right to request:

  • Access to records held by this Meath County Council;
  • Correction of personal information held by the Council concerning yourself wherever it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;
  • Access to reasons for decisions made by the Council directly affecting you.

The following categories of records come within the scope of the Acts:

  • All records relating to personal information held by the Council irrespective of when created;
  • All other records created after 21st April 1998, which is the commencement date of the Freedom of Information Act; and
  • All other records necessary for the understanding of a current record.

How do I make a Request under the Freedom of Information Acts?

If you wish to seek access to information within the Council using the Freedom of Information Acts you will need to:

  • Make your request in writing or via email.
  • Indicate that the information is being sought under the Freedom of Information Acts.
  • Be as clear and specific as possible in making your request and provide as much information as possible to enable the Council to identify the records that you require.
  • If you would like to receive access to the information/records requested in a particular format, (e.g. photocopies, electronically etc), please mention this when submitting your request.
  • Include a daytime telephone number or email address and your postal address to help us to contact you if any queries arise in relation to your request. 
  • Requests should be posted to:

    Meath County Council
    Corporate Services
    Railway Street
    Navan
    County Meath

    or emailed to:

    foi@meathcoco.ie 

Please note that the €15 initial application fee was abolished on 14th October 2014, when the new Freedom of Information Act 2014 was enacted.

The Department will acknowledge receipt of your request in writing within 10 working days.  The acknowledgement letter will also provide you with the name and contact details of the person who will be making the decision in relation to your request and will advise you when you can expect to receive this decision. 

What Fees are Payable in Relation to my Request?

Fees may be charged for search, retrieval and copying of the records requested.  This process involves two stages:

  1. Locating the broad set of records in which those requested might be found.
  2. Identifying, extracting and assembling the particular records sought for examination.

Fees for the estimated cost of searching for and retrieving records and copying the records can only be charged with respect to records being released.  €20 is charged for each hour spent searching for and retrieving records and €0.04 is charged per sheet for a photocopy of the records released. 

Bands for estimating search & retrieval (€20 per hour) and photocopying fees (€0.04 per sheet) :

Hours

Estimate

Action

Less than 5

€100 or less

No fees can be charged for search & retrieval or copying

Between 5 and 25

€101 - €500

Search & retrieval and copying fees apply

Between 25 and 35

€501 - €700

No more than €500 can be charged for search & retrieval or copying

More than 35

More than €700

The decision maker will contact the requester to ask him/her to refine/amend the request to ensure that the search & retrieval & coping charges are below €700. If the requester refuses to refine/amend the request then the request can be refused under Section 27 (12)(iii)

In cases where search and retrieval fees apply, we are obliged to charge a deposit of at least 20% of the estimate to the requester.

What Can I do If I am Unhappy with the Council's Decision?

The Freedom of Information Acts set out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage key interests of the State or of third parties.  Where Meath County Council invokes these provisions to withhold records, the requester will be advised.  Virtually all decisions to refuse release of records may be appealed.  Other decisions in relation to deferral of access to records, fees charged, forms of access etc., may also be appealed. 

1. Internal Review

You may seek an internal review of the Council's initial decision in relation to your request if:

  • You are dissatisfied with the initial response received;
  • You have not received a reply within 4 weeks of your initial application.  This is deemed to be a refusal of your request and allows you to proceed to request an internal review.

The internal review will be carried out by an official at a higher grade than the original decision maker and who was not involved in the original decision making process.  The Council must complete its internal review of the original decision within 15 working days of receipt of the request for an internal review. 

You must make your appeal within 20 working days of the date that the decision letter was issued to you. An application fee of €30 (€10 if you are covered by a medical card) is required before the processing of an internal review can begin.  

An internal review may affirm, vary or annul the original decision in relation to a request.  The internal review process must be completed before an appeal can be submitted to the Information Commissioner

2.  Review by the Information Commissioner

If you are still dissatisfied following completion of the internal review, you may also seek an independent review of the Council's decision from the Information Commissioner.  Furthermore, if you have not received a reply from the Council to your application for internal review within 3 weeks, this is deemed to be a refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Commissioner.Appeals should be made directly to the Information Commissioner (details provided below). The fee for appeals to the Information Commissioner is €50 (€15 for medical card holders and their dependants).

Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2

Lo-Call:           1890 223 030

Email:              info@oic.ie

Tel:                  01 639 5689

Fax:                 01 639 5674

 

 

Céard é an tAcht um Shaoráil Faisnéise 2014?

Tháinig an tAcht nua um Shaoráil Faisnéise i bhfeidhm ar an 14 Deireadh Fómhair 2014.

Dearbhaíonn na hAchtanna um Shaoráil Faisnéise cearta an phobail teacht chomh mór agus is féidir ar eolas oifigiúil i gcomhréir le leas an phobail agus le cearta príobháideachais an duine. 

Bunaíodh leis an Acht na trí cheart reachtúla seo a leanas:

  • Ceart dlíthiúil ag gach duine rochtain a fháil ar fhaisnéis atá i seilbh comhlachtaí poiblí;
  • Ceart dlíthiúil ag gach duine faisnéis oifigiúil a bhaineann leis féin nó léi féin a fháil leasaithe más rud é go bhfuil sé neamhiomlán, míchruinn nó míthreorach; agus
  • Ceart dlíthiúil cúiseanna le cinntí a bhaineann leat féin a fháil amach.

Faoi na hAchtanna um Shaoráil Faisnéise, tá de cheart ag gach duine iarratas a dhéanamh chun eolas a rochtain nach bhfuil ar fáil go poiblí ar bhealach ar bith eile.  Tá de cheart agat an méid seo a leanas a iarraidh:

  • Rochtain ar thaifid atá i seilbh Comhairle Chontae na Mí;
  • Ceartú eolas pearsanta atá i seilbh na Chomhairle a bhaineann leat féin cibé áit a bhfuil sé míchruinn, neamhiomlán nó míthreorach;
  • Rochtain ar chúiseanna le cinntí a rinne an Chomhairle agus a bhaineann leatsa go díreach.

Tagann na catagóirí taifead seo a leanas faoi raon na nAchtanna:

  • Gach taifead a bhaineann le heolas pearsanta atá i seilbh na Chomhairle in ainneoin cén uair a cruthaíodh é;
  • Gach taifead eile a cruthaíodh tar éis an 21 Aibreáin 1998, dáta thosach feidhme an Achta um Shaoráil Faisnéise; agus
  • Gach taifead eile is gá chun taifead reatha a thuiscint.

Conas a oibríonn na hAchtanna?

Más mian leat rochtain a fháil ar eolas laistigh den Chomhairle ag baint úsáide as na hAchtanna um Shaoráil Faisnéise, beidh ort:

  • D'iarratas a dhéanamh i scríbhinn nó ar ríomhphost.
  • An t-eolas atá á lorg faoi na hAchtanna um Shaoráil Faisnéise a lua.
  • Bí chomh soiléir agus chomh sonrach is atá tú in ann a bheith agus tú ag déanamh iarratais agus cuir a mhéid eolais is féidir leat ar fáil chun cur ar chumas na Chomhairle na taifid atá uait a aimsiú.
  • Dá mba mhaith leat rochtain a fháil ar an eolas/na taifid atá uait i bhformáid ar leith, (e.g. fótachóipeanna, go leictreonach, etc.), luaigh é seo le do thoil agus tú ag cur isteach d'iarratas.
  • Cuir uimhir theileafóin lae nó seoladh ríomhphoist le d'iarratas, chomh maith le do sheoladh poist, chun cuidiú linn teagmháil a dhéanamh leat má thagann ceist ar bith chun cinn i ndáil le d'iarratas. 
  • Is cóir iarratais a chur sa phost chuig:

    Comhairle Chontae na Mí
    Seirbhísí Corparáideacha

    Halla an Chontae
    Sráid an Bhóthair Iarainn
    An Uaimh
    Contae na Mí


    nó ar ríomhphost chuig:

    foi@meathcoco.ie 

Tabhair faoi deara gur cuireadh deireadh leis an táille €15 ar an iarratas tosaigh ar an 14 Deireadh Fómhair 2014, nuar a achtaíodh an Achta nua um Shaoráil Faisneise 2014. 

Tabharfaidh an Roinn admháil i scríbhinn nó ar ríomhphost duit as d'iarratas a bheith faighte.  Sa litir admhála tabharfar eolas duit ar ainm agus sonraí teagmhála an té a bheidh ag déanamh an chinnidh i dtaca le d'iarratas agus inseofar duit cén dáta a bhféadfaidh tú a bheith ag súil le cinneadh. 

Céard iad na táillí atá le híoc ar m'iarratas?

D'fhéadfaí táillí a ghearradh as na taifid a iarrtar a chuardach, a aisghabháil agus a chóipeáil.  Tá dhá chéim i gceist leis an bpróiseas seo:

  1. Teacht ar an tacar leathan taifead ina bhféadfaí na taifid atá iarrtha a aimsiú.
  2. Na taifid faoi leith a iarradh lena n-imscrúdú a aimsiú, a bhaint amach agus a chur le chéile.

Ní féidir táillí as an gcostas measta ar thaifid a chuardach agus a aisghabháil agus a chóipeáil a ghearradh ach amháin i leith taifead atá le scaoileadh.  €20 a ghearrtar as gach uair an chloig a chaitear ag cuardach agus ag aisghabháil taifead agus gearrtar €0.04 as gach leathanach fótáchóipeáilte de na taifid a scaoiltear. 

Bandaí chun táillí cuardaigh & aisghabhála (€20 in aghaidh na huaire) agus fótachóipeála (€0.04 in aghaidh an leathanaigh) a mheas :

Uaireanta

Meastachán

Gníomh

Faoi bhun 5

€100 nó níos lú

Ní féidir táillí a ghearradh as cuardach & aisghabháil ná as cóipeáil

Idir 5 agus 25

€101 - €500

Tá táillí inghearrtha as cuardach & aisghabháil agus as cóipeáil

Idir 25 agus 35

€501 - €700

Ní féidir níos mó ná €500 a ghearradh as cuardach & aisghabháil ná as cóipeáil

Níos mó ná 35

Níos mó ná €700

Rachaidh an cinnteoir i dteagmháil leis an iarrthóir chun iarraidh air/uirthi an t-iarratas a bheachtú/a leasú lena chinntiú go gcoinneofar na táillí cuardaigh & aisghabhála agus cóipeála faoi €700. Má dhiúltaíonn an t-iarrthóir an t-iarratas a bheachtú/a leasú, is féidir an t-iarratas a dhiúltú faoi Alt 27 (12)(iii)

I gcásanna ina bhfuil táillí cuardaigh agus aisghabhála i gceist, tá sé de dhualgas orainn éarlais de 20% ar a laghad den chostas measta a ghearradh ar an iarrthóir.

Céard is féidir liom a dhéanamh má tá mé míshásta le cinneadh an Chomhairle maidir le m'iarratas?

Leagtar amach sna hAchtanna um Shaoráil Faisnéise sraith díolúintí chun eolas íogair a chosaint sa chás ina bhféadfaí dochar a dhéanamh do phríomhleasanna an Stáit nó tríú páirtithe dá scaoilfí é.  Sa chás ina mbaineann an Chomhairle seo leas as na forálacha seo chun taifid a choimeád siar, cuirfear é sin in iúl don iarrthóir.  Is féidir achomharc a dhéanamh maidir le gach cinneadh diúltú do scaoileadh taifead, a bheag nó a mhór.  Is féidir achomharc a dhéanamh freisin maidir le cinntí eile a bhaineann le rochtain ar thaifid a iarchur, táillí a ghearrfar, foirmeacha rochtana etc. 

1.      Athbhreithniú Inmheánach

Is féidir leat athbhreithniú inmheánach a lorg ar chinneadh tosaigh na Chomhairle i ndáil le d'iarratas más rud é:

  • Go bhfuil tú míshásta leis an gcéad fhreagra a fuair tú; 
  • Nach bhfuil freagra faighte agat ar d'iarratas tosaigh tar éis 4 sheachtaine.  Meastar gur diúltú é seo ar d'iarratas agus ligtear duit dul ar aghaidh agus athbhreithniú inmheánach a iarraidh.

Is oifigeach nach raibh baint aige/aici leis an gcéad phróiseas cinnteoireachta agus atá ag grád níos airde ná an chéad chinnteoir, a dhéanfaidh an t-athbhreithniú inmheánach.  Ní mór don Roinn a hathbhreithniú inmheánach ar an gcéad chinneadh a chur i gcrích laistigh de 15 lá oibre ó dháta faighte an iarratais ar athbhreithniú inmheánach. 

Ní mór duit d'achomharc a dhéanamh laistigh de 20 lá oibre ón dáta a eiseofar an litir faoin gcinneadh chugat. Éilítear táille iarratais €30 (€10 má tá cárta leighis agat) sula bhféadfar tús a chur le hathbhreithniú inmheánach a phróiseáil.  

D'fhéadfadh athbhreithniú inmheánach an cinneadh bunaidh i ndáil le hiarratas a dhearbhú, a athrú nó a chur ar neamhní.  Ní mór an próiseas athbhreithnithe inmheánaigh a bheith curtha i gcrích sula bhféadfaí achomharc a chur chuig an gCoimisinéir Faisnéise

2.      Athbhreithniú a dhéanann an Coimisinéir Faisnéise

Má tá tú fós míshásta tar éis chur i gcrích an athbhreithnithe inmheánaigh, féadfaidh tú freisin athbhreithniú neamhspleách a lorg ar chinneadh na Chomhairle ón gCoimisinéir Faisnéise.  Anuas air sin, mura bhfuil freagra ar d'iarratas ar athbhreithniú inmheánach faighte agat ón gComhairle laistigh de 3 sheachtaine, measfar gur diúltú é sin agus is féidir leat achomharc a dhéanamh maidir leis an gceist leis an gCoimisinéir.Is cóir achomhairc a dhéanamh go díreach leis an gCoimisinéir Faisnéise (sonraí thíos). Is ionann an táille a ghearrtar as achomhairc chuig an gCoimisinéir Faisnéise agus €50 (€15 do shealbhóirí cárta leighis agus a gcleithiúnaithe).

Oifig an Choimisinéara Faisnéise

18 Sráid Líosain Íochtarach, Baile Átha Cliath 2

Íosghlao:              1890 223 030

Ríomhphost:         info@oic.ie

Teil:                       01 639 5689

Facs:                     01 639 5674

gréasáin, www.foi.gov.ie,

 
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 tel: +353 (046) 9097000, fax: +353 (046) 9097001, email: customerservice@meathcoco.ie
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 Suíomh gréasáin reachtálaithe ag Comhairle Chontae na Mí, Halla an Chontae, An Uaimh, Contae na Mí, Eire
 teileafón: +353 (046) 9097000, facs: +353 (046) 9097001, ríomhphost: customerservice@meathcoco.ie
 Comhairle teagmhála teileafóin éigeandála taobh amuigh d'uaire oifige: 1890 445 335


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