Freedom of Information (FOI)

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 or take a look at the shortcuts in our Publication Scheme below? The information you seek may already be available.

Publication Scheme

This publication scheme commits HIQA to make information available to the public as part of its normal business activities. It is here to help you quickly access information on our website.

About HIQA Our functions Information routinely published
Who we are Health Technology Assessment Register of designated centres
What we do Health Information Latest inspection reports | Latest hygiene reports
Financial information and procurement Regulation News
  Supporting Quality Improvement Publications

How to make an FOI request

Write to the FOI Officer, Health Information and Quality Authority, Georges Court, Georges Lane, Smithfield Dublin 7 or email

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.


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
  • Tel  353-1-814 7670.


Want to know more?

Publication of requests

The Authority has a policy of posting a disclosure summary of non personal FOI requests on its website for reference purposes. View our Disclosure logs on the links below.

Fees and Payment

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

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.  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.

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

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


FOI Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

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.

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 sets down time-limits for the processing of requests, they are as follows:

  • Acknowledgement of a request within two weeks (10 working days) from the date of receipt of request
  • A reply to a request within four weeks (20 working days) from the date of receipt of request

However it may be necessary to extend this period for up to four weeks more if -

  • The records relate to a third party who may have to be contacted, in such circumstances the deadline may be extended by up to three weeks
  • The request relates to a very large number of records,
  • A large number of requests for the same record(s) has been made

If the period is extended, you will receive a letter from the Authority’s FOI Officer before the end of the initial four week period. This letter will outline the reasons for the delay.


Where HIQA considers that your request should be sent to another public body, the request shall be forwarded to that public body. The Authority’s FOI Officer will write to you within two weeks of receiving your request advising you that the request has been transferred. Your request will then be treated as though you had sent it to the second public body on the date which they receive it.


If HIQA holds some, but not all, of the records that you have requested, then the Authority’s FOI Officer will write to you informing you of this, and supplying the name(s) and contact details of the other bodies from whom you should request those records not held by HIQA.

If HIQA granted your request the Authority’s FOI Officer will write to you stating:

  • That your request has been granted
  • The name of the person dealing with your request
  • The day on which the decision was made
  • The format in which the record will be released
  • The fee for searches if applicable

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.

If HIQA refused your request the Authority’s FOI Officer will write to you stating:

  • That the request has been refused, and the reasons for the refusal
  • The name of the person who decided to refuse the record
  • You will be informed of your rights of appeal and review, as set out below.

The Act sets out a series of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage interests of third parties or the public good known as the public interest. If the initial decision maker decides to withhold information then the requester may submit a request to have the matter reviewed by an internal reviewer in HIQA.


Decisions about, delaying access to records, charges for searches and the form, in which access is granted, may also be reviewed by an internal reviewer in HIQA.


Requests for internal review must be submitted in writing within four weeks of the original decision. The request should be made to: Suzanne O'Brien, the FOI Officer, Health Information and Quality Authority, Georges Court, Georges Lane, Smithfield Dublin 7 or email


The Authority must complete its internal review and notify you within three weeks of receiving the request.


An application for an internal review that is not completed within three weeks is deemed to be a refusal. In such circumstances a requester can then proceed to request a review by the Information Commissioner without waiting for HIQA to communicate its decision.


If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the internal review, you may ask the Information Commissioner to review the matter.

The FOI Act refers to circumstances where certain records are protected. This can includes material relating to investigations, another business, legal advices, and records relating to or personal information about an individual. In some instances HQA may refused outright to release information and some instances HIQA are required to apply a tested to see if the records could cause "harm" if they were released.

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

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.