Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003, give every person statutory rights to:
- access information held by public bodies;
- have official information relating to him/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, and
- obtain reasons for decisions affecting him/herself.
The Acts assert the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible. There are, however, certain types of information which are exempt from release under the Acts, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals. Among these exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings;
- law enforcement and security;
- confidential and commercially sensitive information, and
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request).
Routinely Available Information.
The Authority makes a wide variety of information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions, activities and schemes. Our website and extensive range of publications afford access to such information and can be availed of without recourse to the FOI Acts.
Information Requiring an FOI Request.
The FOI Acts are designed to allow members of the public access to information held by public bodies which is NOT routinely available. However, as explained above, the right of access to information may not apply to certain types of records. There are also specific procedures and time limits that apply to requests made under the Acts.
Making a Request
Requests under the Freedom of Information Acts should be made in writing to the Information Officer, National Roads Authority, St Martin's House, Waterloo Road, Dublin 4. A downloadable FOI request form is available by clicking here
It should be clearly indicated that the request is being made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts. Please be as specific as possible when detailing your request so as to enable the staff of the NRA process your application. Also, please include a daytime contact telephone number so that we can contact you should any clarification be required in relation to your request.
If your request is for a record containing non-personal information, an application fee of €15 (€10 if you are a medical card holder) must accompany your request. There is no application fee if your request is for personal information only.
Search and Retrieval and Copying Fees
In accordance with the provisions of the FOI Acts, the following fee structure applies for records/information provided by the Authority in response to requests received under the Acts:
- Search & Retrieval
- €20.95 per person per hour.
Where the estimated cost of search and retrieval of the records sought is likely to exceed €50.79, a deposit of at least 20% of the total amount will be required. In such cases, the requester will be advised in writing of the position and will be provided with an opportunity to review or amend his/her request. The search & retrieval process will not commence until payment of deposit has been received by the Authority. It should also be noted that the date for the final decision on the FOI request (which is normally within one month of receipt by the Authority of the request) will be determined by reference to the date of receipt of the deposit payment.
- €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy.
- €10.16 for a CD-ROM containing copy documents.
Search and retrieval and copying fees will not normally be applied if the records being sought contain only personal information, unless a significant number of records are involved.
A deposit is required where the estimated cost of search and retrieval of records sought is estimated to exceed €50.79.
Reductions and Waivers
- A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records will be waived where the cost of collecting and accounting for the fee would exceed the amount of the fee itself.
- A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records or a deposit may be reduced or waived where the information in the record would be of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance.
Requesters who are not satisfied with the response they have received or who feel that a proposed charge for search/retrieval or copying of records is excessive can appeal to the Authority for an internal review of the decision. An official who is more senior than the original decision-maker will undertake the internal review. The reviewer can change or agree with the original decision.
For FOI requests that relate to non personal information, a fee of €75 (€25 if the requester is covered by a medical card) applies for an application for an internal review of a decision. There is no charge where the application relates to a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount.
If a requester is unhappy with the decision of the internal reviewer, he/she has the right to appeal to the Information Commissioner whose contact details are as follows:
Office of the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2 Phone: (01) 6395689 or 1890 223030, Fax (01) 6395674 e-mail: email@example.com.
There is a fee of €150 (€50 if the requester is covered by a medical card) for an appeal to the Information Commissioner. There is no charge where the appeal relates to the requester's personal information or a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount.
Payments to the Authority should be made by way of bank draft, money postal order or personal cheque made payable to "The National Roads Authority".