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Frequently Asked Questions


The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access records held by FOI bodies such as PIAB. An FOI body must give you an explanation if you are not given what you asked for and the decision must normally be made within four weeks.

From 14th April 2015 you have the right to seek the following from PIAB:

  • Any records relating to you personally, whenever created
  • All other records created by PIAB since 21st April 2008

In addition, the FOI Act gives you the right to:

  • Have personal information held corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • Be given reasons for decisions taken by the PIAB that affect you 

No - it is not always necessary to make a FOI request to get information from PIAB.  A considerable amount of material is already made available to the public through information leaflets, publications, our website and in response to enquiries. 

The Act requires public bodies 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. A week is defined in the Act to mean 5 consecutive weekdays excluding Saturdays and public holidays (Sundays are also excluded as they are not week days).

Charges may be applied for the time spent locating records and for any photocopying costs incurred by PIAB in providing you with the material requested. It is very unlikely that any fees will be charged in respect of personal records, except where a large number of records are involved. Section 27 of the FOI Act provides for fees.

€30.00 internal appeal fee

€10.00 internal fee (medical card holders)

€50.00 appeal to the Information Commissioner

€15.00 appeal to the Information Commissioner (medical card holders)

€20.00 per hour - search and retrieval, where that time exceeds 5 hours

€0.04 per sheet for a photocopy

€10.00 for a CD

Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing to the PIAB's FOI Unit and should refer to the Act. If information is required in a particular form (e.g. photocopy, computer disk, etc.) this should be specified in the application. Requests should be as specific as possible to enable the information sought to be identified. Where possible please try to indicate the time period for which you wish to access records e.g. records created between May 2013 and December 2013. Also, if possible, try to specify the departmental areas of the Board which you feel would be most relevant to your request. You can use the FOI Application Form to request this information.

If you are not using the form outlined above, then your application should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act. If you have any difficulty in preparing your application the FOI Officer will be happy to assist you in this regard.

You may be required to prove your identity, especially when seeking personal information, so you may, therefore, be asked to produce your Birth Certificate, Driving Licence, Passport or other form of identity.

Please include a day time telephone number, if possible, so that you may be contacted quickly if it is necessary to clarify details of your request. 

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

  • All records relating to personal information held by the PIAB irrespective of when they were created
  • All other records created from the 21st April 2008
  • Any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 21st April 2008

However, in order to allow the PIAB’s 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 Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:

  • Confidential and commercially sensitive information, personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
  • Law enforcement and security
  • Government meetings 

Under the Act a request for records must be acknowledged within 2 weeks and, in most cases, responded to within 4 weeks. A week is defined in the Act to mean 5 consecutive week-days, excluding Saturdays and public holidays (Sundays are also excluded as they are not considered week-days). If a request requires consultation with a third party there may be another three weeks before a response issues.

If you are dissatisfied with PIAB’s response you can seek to have a decision re-examined by a more senior member of staff within the Board. Applications for review of a decision, together with a fee of €30.00 or a reduced fee of €10.00 for medical card holders should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Unit, PIAB,
PO Box 9732,
Dublin 24.

Note: These fees apply only to Non Personal requests.

If you are still unhappy with the decision, you have the right to appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner. Applications with appropriate fees (€50.00 or a reduced fee of €10.00 for medical card holders) should be forwarded directly to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2

Call 01 639 5689 or LoCall 1890 253238
Fax 01 639 5674

Yes, if you require any help the FOI Officer will be happy to assist you in the formulation of your request. The FOI Officer is also available to provide assistance to persons with a disability to exercise their rights under the FOI Act (e.g. accepting oral requests from requesters who are unable to read, print and/or write due to their disability, enabling the requester to inspect or have records explained to him or her).  The FOI Officer can be contacted on the details below.

Freedom of Information Unit, PIAB,
PO Box 9732,
Dublin 24,

Phone 01 463 4532
Fax 01 463 4593

See also