Stages of an FOI request
1. FOI Officer
Your request should be addressed to the FOI Officer at LYIT. If you are unsure as to how to request information the FOI Officer can advise/help you with your request (see also “How to make an FOI request”). If you have a disability, the FOI Officer will facilitate the exercise by you of your rights under the FOI Act [Section 6(2)(b)]. The FOI Officer must acknowledge your request in writing within 2 weeks of receipt of it [Section 7(2)].
2. Decision Maker
The request is passed from the FOI Officer to the Decision Maker. The Decision Maker’s role is to assess the documents requested and he/she must issue a reply letter to the requester within 4 weeks of the receipt of the request [Section 8(1)] or otherwise the request will be deemed refused.
3. Internal Review
A requester is entitled to seek an Internal Review under Section 14(7) of the Act, if she/he is not satisfied with the outcome of their initial request. He/she must submit their request for an internal review within 4 weeks of the date of the reply letter. This request must also be sent to the FOI Officer and the FOI Officer will pass it on to the Internal Reviewer. The Internal Reviewer must be of a ranking grade higher than that of the Decision Maker [Section 14(3)]. They will assess the documents requested themselves and consult with the Decision Maker as to the decision taken in the first instance and must issue a reply letter to the requester within 3 weeks of the receipt of the request or otherwise the request will be deemed refused.
4. Information Commissioner
If a requester is still not satisfied with the outcome of their request after the Internal Review stage, they are entitled to appeal to the Information Commissioner, Emily O’Reilly, who is also the Ombudsman. The Office of the Information Commissioner can be contacted on Lo-Call: 1890 223030, (f) 01 6395674 or (e) firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.oic.gov.ie/en/
5. High Court
If a requester is not satisfied with the decision of the Information Commissioner, they can appeal to the High Court on a point of law. You can read some case studies of requests that have made it to the High Court on the Information Commissioner's website at: http://www.oic.gov.ie/en/DecisionsoftheCommissioner/
6. Supreme Court
A right of appeal to the Supreme Court is created from a decision of the High Court under section 42. This right applies to any party affected by a review undertaken by the High Court.