Frequently Asked Questions
This section covers some of the questions you may have about Freedom of Information. If you have a question that is not covered below or on the other pages in the FOI section we would be happy to discuss your query with you.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01 238 5050.
Where can I get more information on FOI?
Further information on FOI is available from:
The Freedom of Information Unit,
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform,
Upper Merrion Street,
Tel: +353 (1) 604 5388
Fax: +353 (1) 639 6281
The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall: 1890 253 238
Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
More comprehensive information on Freedom of Information, including the text of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 is available at www.foi.gov.ie.
Do I need to make a FOI request to get information from the NTMA?
No. The NTMA provides a great deal of information on the various pages of its website. This will continue. FOI provides an additional source of information by facilitating access to records not made routinely available.
Can I get help in making a request?
Yes. If you require help in formulating your request, the staff in the FOI Unit will be happy to assist you.
What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request?
If you are not happy with the decision that you receive you may ask for the decision to be reviewed. This will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the NTMA and a decision will be communicated to you within 3 weeks. You may seek a review of any decision issued by the NTMA, by making a request in writing (by post, hand delivery or email) to the Freedom of Information Unit, NTMA, Treasury Building, Grand Canal Street, Dublin 2 (email@example.com).
You should state that you are seeking an Internal Review of the matter. A fee of €30 (reduced fee of €10 for medical card holders or dependents of medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
You should make your request for an Internal Review within 4 weeks from the date of our response to you setting out our decision in relation to your initial request for records (although late appeals may be permitted in certain circumstances). When seeking an Internal Review you need to ensure that you refer to your initial request and decision and that you quote the reference number. You also need to include the grounds on which you are seeking this review and any additional information which you feel is relevant.
What if I am not satisfied with the decision on internal review?
If you are not happy with the outcome of the Internal Review, you may make an appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC). If you wish to make an appeal to the OIC, you must do so within six months of the date of our Internal Review decision. If you make an appeal the OIC, they 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,
Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall: 1890 22 30 30
Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
A fee of €50 (reduced fee of €15 for medical card holders or dependents of medical card holders) may apply for such an application. 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.
Is there a charge for getting information under the FOI Act?
There is no charge for submitting a request. However, in respect of non-personal requests, section 27 of the FOI Act provides that fees shall be charged for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the NTMA in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying fees). The legislation specifies the search, retrieval and copying fees that may be charged. There are also some rules that apply in relation to the charging of fees:
- Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, there will be no charge.
- Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, the total charge will not exceed €500.
- Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, an FOI body can refuse to process the request.
Where fees apply, a deposit must be paid before the search and retrieval process is begun. An estimate of the search, retrieval and photocopying charges relating to your request and the required deposit will be notified to you in writing. Payment should be made by way of Electronic Funds Transfer. Please contact the FOI Unit 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 per hour
- €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
- Internal review fee €30 (reduced fee of €10 for medical card holders or dependents of medical card holders)
1. There is no charge if your request relates to records containing only personal information relating to you, unless there is a significant number of records.
2. If you are claiming a reduced 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.
Can I get access to any information that I seek?
Not all of the records of the NTMA are covered by the FOI Act. Some of the NTMA’s records have been expressly excluded from the FOI Act. The following records do not come within the scope of the FOI Act:
In relation to the NTMA:
- Records relating to or received from public bodies which are specified in Schedule 1 Part 2 of the FOI Act. These are bodies which are exempt from the FOI Act.
- Records concerning the terms and conditions on which a person holds a position as a staff member of the NTMA, other than records containing that information in a summary or collective format where individuals cannot be identified from the record.
In relation to the NTMA when acting as the State Claims Agency:
- Records concerning the performance of the functions of the State Claims Agency other than in relation to records concerning the general administration of the functions of the State Claims Agency.
In relation to the NTMA generally and the NTMA when acting as the National Development Finance Agency, and the NTMA as the controller / manager of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund:
- investors or potential investors in any security issued by the Minister for Finance or the NTMA, or in any project, fund or other investment managed or promoted by the NTMA or in which the NTMA is an investor,
- companies, firms, funds or any other entities with or in which the NTMA has invested or could potentially make an investment,
- purchasers or potential purchasers of any asset or loan or of any other asset securing loans held or managed by the NTMA,
- market counterparties or potential market counterparties of the NTMA, or
- sellers of assets acquired or which may be potentially acquired by the NTMA or by any company, firm, fund or other entity in which the NTMA is an investor.
Records that you can seek from the NTMA (except for the records listed above, which are excluded from the scope of the FOI Act) include:
(a) all records relating to your personal information;
(b) all other records created on or after 21 April 2008; and
(c) any records necessary to the understanding of a record referred to in (b) above even if created prior to 21 April 2008.
However, in order to allow FOI bodies to properly conduct their business, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances. These exemptions are set out in the FOI Act and apply to all FOI bodies. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- law enforcement and security,
- confidential and commercially sensitive information,
- personal information of a third party (i.e. someone other than the person making the request).
Requests for access to records may also be refused if they are deemed to be unclear or of such a volume as to substantially or unreasonably interfere with or disrupt the NTMA’s work.
How can I make an FOI request to the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) (including the NTMA acting as the State Claims Agency, NewERA and/or the National Development Finance Agency and/or the NTMA as controller/manager of the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund)?
You should send a request in writing (by post, hand delivery or email) to:
Freedom of Information Unit,
Grand Canal Street,
Phone: 01 238 5050
Your request should include the following:
- A statement that the request is being made pursuant to the FOI Act;
- As much information as possible about the records being sought; and
- Details of the format in which you wish to receive any records released (e.g. photocopies).
How does FOI work?
A member of the public can request access to records under the FOI Act by making a request to an FOI body and stating that he/she is seeking the records pursuant to the FOI Act. The FOI Act requires FOI bodies to respond to such requests from the public. In most cases, FOI bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it.