Freedom of Information
Freedom of Information
The Freedom of Information Act 2014 (“the FOI Act”) gives members of the public the right to access records held by public bodies which are subject to the FOI Act (“FOI bodies”), and, in some circumstances, to amend records containing personal information held by FOI bodies and to seek reasons for decisions of FOI bodies.
The FOI Act provides for the following rights:
- the right to access records held by FOI bodies;
- the right to have records held by FOI bodies which contain personal information relating to the requester amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
- the right, in certain circumstances, to be given reasons for decisions made or taken by FOI bodies that affect them.
The FOI Act provides for exemptions which mean that, in certain circumstances, requested information cannot be released. An example of this may be in order to protect commercially sensitive information within the meaning of the FOI Act, or to prevent the disclosure of personal information. Where exemptions are applicable to a request received, Gas Networks Ireland will provide reasons to you for applying such exemption.
How to make a request to Gas Networks Ireland under the FOI Act:
To make a request to Gas Networks Ireland under the FOI Act, please use one of the following options:
- Submit your request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- Submit your request in writing to the Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit by post to: Networks Services Centre, St. Margarets Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.
In your letter or email, we would ask that you:
- state that the request is being made under the FOI Act;
- give as much detail as possible in relation to the information concerned to enable us to identify the record(s) sought by the taking of reasonable steps;
- in accordance with Section 12© of the FOI Act if access to the information is required in a particular form or manner, this form or manner of access must be specified;
- include your return address and, if possible, a contact telephone number (to allow us to contact you to clarify your request, if necessary).
If you require any assistance in making a request, please contact our FOI Unit by email at email@example.com or via post to:
FOI Unit, Gas Networks Ireland, Networks Services Centre, St. Margarets Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.
What type of records can be requested under Freedom of Information?
You can ask for any of the following:
- any records relating to you personally, whenever created;
- all other records created after 21 April, 2008.
A record includes a book or other written or printed material which is in any form, including in any electronic device. It is a map, plan or drawing, a disc, tape or firm which contains visual or non-visual images or a copy of any of these.
How is a Freedom of Information request processed by Gas Networks Ireland?
The Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit will issue an acknowledgement letter to you within 10 working days of your request being received. The next stages of the process will be clearly explained in that letter.
A decision regarding your request will normally be issued by the Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit within 20 working days of the receipt of your request.
In some cases, an extension of time may be necessary. If this occurs while processing your request, the Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit will contact you and explain this requirement.
What charges apply to Freedom of Information requests?
When the request is for personal information, there are no charges unless a significant number of records has been requested. In the case of requests which relate to non-personal information, there is a charge of €20 per hour for the search and retrieval of records. There are further charges for the copying of records, as follows:
- €0.04 per sheet;
- €10.00 per CD ROM.
There is a minimum threshold of €100 below which no search, retrieval and copying fees will be charged. So, no charge applies in cases where the total search, retrieval and copying charge attaching to a request is €100 or less. However, once the charge is greater than €100, fees apply to the full amount of time spent on the search and retrieval exercise.
There is a cap on the amount that can be charged of €500. There is also a further upper ceiling limit on estimated search, retrieval and copying fees set at €700, above which Gas Networks Ireland can refuse to process a request where the requester does not refine his or her request.
The Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit will advise you within 10 working days of receipt of your request if a charge applies to your FOI request so that you can decide whether to proceed with your request.
Can a decision be appealed?
Yes. If you would like to appeal the decision made by the Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit, you can do so by sending a request in writing asking for an internal review of the decision to firstname.lastname@example.org or FOI Unit, Networks Services Centre, St. Margarets Road, Finglas, Dublin 11 with the appropriate fee. The fee for internal review is €30.00 (€10.00 for medical card holders and their dependants). This request must be forwarded to us within 20 working days of receipt of our response to your initial FOI request.
The appeal process will involve a full reconsideration of your original request by a person at a more senior level in Gas Networks Ireland – this is known as an “internal review”. You will receive a response from Gas Networks Ireland within 15 days of receipt of the appeal.
If, after the internal review, you are dissatisfied with the decision and you would like to appeal again, your appeal should be directed to the Office of the Information Commissioner. Further details will be provided to you in the internal review decision letter.
Related Documents and Useful Links
For further information on freedom of information, please find below some useful links and documents:
Gas Networks Ireland Freedom of Information Publication Scheme
Freedom of Information Central Policy Unit
Office of the Information Commissioner
Freedom of Information Act Legislation
Irish Statute Book
Fees and Payment Methods
Fees and Payments Methods are set as per the Freedom of Information Legislation.
Internal Review Fee:
If you would like to appeal the decision made by the Gas Networks Ireland FOI Unit regarding your initial request, a fee of €30 is required when submitting your request for an internal review (€10 for medical card holders).
- Electronic payment
- Postal Order
- Bank Draft
- Postal Orders, Cheques and Bank Drafts should be made payable to: Gas Networks Ireland
For further queries on Freedom of Information in relation to Gas Networks Ireland you can contact us via email to email@example.com or via post at: Networks Services Centre, St. Margarets Road, Finglas, Dublin 11.
Freedom of Information Disclosure Log
Gas Networks Ireland is required by the FOI Act to make available a summary of FOI requests and the subsequent replies on our website for reference purposes. All Freedom of Information requests since October 2015, other than requests for personal information are available here.