Freedom of Information

Before you decide to make a request for information under FOI from the Health Information and Quality Authority (the Authority), why not explore our website?  The information you seek may already be available.

What is the Freedom of Information Act?

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives you the right to access records held by HIQA and other public bodies. You don't have to give a reason why you want to see these records.

A decision on your request must normally be made within four weeks.

What can I ask for from HIQA?

You can ask for the following records held by the Health Information and Quality Authority:

  • Any records relating to you personally, whenever they were created
  • All other records created after 21 April, 1998

A record can be a paper document, information held on computer, printouts, maps, microfiche, audio-visual material, etc.

As required by the previous Act, the Authority has produced reference books to assist the public in using FOI procedures. The FOI (Previously Section 15 and Section 16) Section 8 Reference Book are a guide to the functions and records of the Authority and detail the rules and practices of the Authority in relation to any decisions made under schemes affecting the public.

What are my rights under the freedom of Information Act 2014?

Freedom of Information refers to rights provided to every person under the Freedom of Information Act 2014. This Act, provides that every person has the following rights:

  • You have the right to obtain access to information held by Public Bodies including Government Departments
  • You have the right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
  • and the right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.

These rights mean that people can seek access from HIQA to personal information held on them - no matter when the information was created - and to other records created after 21st April 1998. In certain circumstances records created before 21st April 1998 may be accessible particularly if these records are required to assist in understanding records created after the Act commenced on 21st April, 1998.

How do I make an FOI request?

Write to the FOI Officer, Health Information and Quality Authority, Georges Court, Georges Lane, Smithfield Dublin 7 or email foi@hiqa.ie.

In your correspondence you should:

  • Refer to the FOI Act 
  • Give as much information as possible about the records you want
  • Specify how you prefer the records - as paper copies, electronic copies or in another format such as a CD-ROM

Alternatively, you can use our application form here

Assistance to Persons with a Disability

The Authority’s Freedom of information Officer is available to provide assistance to any persons with a disability to exercise their rights under the FOI Act.

Please contact the Freedom of information Officer foi@hiqa.ie  Tel  353-1-814 7670.

How long will my application take?

 

What happens if my request is granted?

 

If I'm denied access to information, can I appeal against the decision?

Yes. You may ask the Authority for an internal review by a more senior staff member. They will inform you of the result of the review within three weeks.

What happens if my request is refused?

 

What do you mean by exemptions?

 

When can I make a request for and Internal Review of a decision made by HIQA?

 

When can I appeal a decision made by HIQA to the Information Commissioner?

If dissatisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may appeal the decision and seek an independent external review from the Information Commissioner.

Appeals to the Information Commissioner must be made in writing within six months and sent to the following address:  

Office of the Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson, Dublin 2.

Telephone: +353 -1 -678 5222 Fax: +353 1 6610570

Web www.oic.irlgov.ie

Do I have to pay?

There is no fee for making a request under the FOI Act, however fees are applicable for internal reviews in cases where non-personal information is sought. 

Fees may be charged for the cost of photocopying and there are also charges for the search and retrieval of other information. The table below provides details of the fee structure as outlined in the legislation.

Explanation of the FOI Fees and charges here

Personal Information

No charges are likely to arise in the case of requests or appeals relating to

  • Records containing personal information relating to the requester,
  • Amendments to records containing personal information
  • Reasons for decisions which affected the requester.

Can I find the identity of someone who made an allegation against me?

  • No, the FOI Act provides for the protection of the identity of a person who has submitted information in confidence in relation to enforcement of civil law. Information submitted by a person relating to criminal law is not covered by the FOI Act.

Personal Information and fees

If you are seeking access to your personal information there are unlikely to be fees or charges unless the volume of material is large, involving hundreds of records.

Learn more

Download the application form

Download the Section 8 Reference Book (Previously 15 and 16 Reference Book); 

Electronic payment

e-Day:  19th September 2014,  is the date from which central Government, local authorities and State agencies stop issuing and accepting cheques from businesses.  Click here for more details on e Day

Since E-Day on 19 September we no longer accept cheques from businesses to pay fees or charges.  Businesses should click here for information on how to make electronic payments.

Individuals can still pay the fee by cheque or by postal order.

Publication of requests

The Authority has a policy of posting a disclosure summary of FOI requests on its website for reference purposes.

Useful links