Freedom On Information Act 2014
Saint John of God Community Services clg. is scheduled under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2014 as a public body/body receiving significant public funds and our records are subject to the legislation. Its primary purpose is to promote transparency and accountability.
The Act provides that every person has the following legal rights:
- The right to access official records held by all bodies who are subject to 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.
These rights mean that people can seek access to personal information held on them.
Records which come within the scope of the Act include:
- Records relating to personal information 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.
It is not always necessary to use the Freedom of Information Act to request information. A large amount of information is already available to the public. Section 8 of the Act requires that we prepare and publish information in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, provided that it is not prohibited by law. This is known as the Model Publication Scheme [https://foi.gov.ie/guidance/model-publication-scheme]
You may also seek information through a normal Administrative Access request or call to the Service.
The email address to contact the Data Protection Officer for Saint John of God Community Services clg is DPOCS@sjog.ie.
|Community Mental Health Services
[temporary FOI Officer]
|Dublin South East Services
|North East Services
Making An FOI Request
The Act requires bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. Your request should be addressed to FOI Officer, Saint John of God Community Services clg. or emailed to email@example.com.
You must specify that the request is being made under the FOI Act and should also:
- Include as much information as possible about the records being sought so they can be identified.
- State what format you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies)
The request will be acknowledged within 10 working days and a decision will normally be issued within 20 working days of receiving the request. This timeline can be extended in certain situations where there’s a large number of records to review, or where the service needs to consult with a third party.
If you require any help in formulating a request or have difficulty in printing/reading/writing due to a disability, please contact FOI Officer, Saint John of God Community Services clg, telephone 01-533 3000 to help you exercise your rights. Saint John of God Community Services clg does not normally charge fees for accessing records in the first instance, subject to volume.
Requests for Personal Information
When you are seeking information which is personal, you will be required to supply the appropriate identification. In cases where you are seeking access to records relating to a deceased person under section 37(8), you will be required to provide additional details in order to exercise these rights.
In some circumstances, it may be necessary to exempt certain information from being released. The Act sets out exemptions, some are mandatory and others discretionary. Amongst the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Law enforcement and security,
- Confidential and commercially sensitive information,
- 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 Service is obliged to assist the requester in trying to overcome this.
If you are unhappy with the decision issued to your request, or have not received a response to your request within 20 working days of applying, you can appeal in writing (usually within 20 working days of the date of response). This means that the decision will be re-examined by a more senior member of staff and is known as an Internal Review.
If you are still unhappy with the decision you have the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner (18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, DO2 HE97).
Publication of Requests
A log of requests made under the Act is maintained on the Saint John of God Community Services website for reference purposes.