Access to Information
The Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 & 2003 gives you the right to access records held by Government Departments, Offices and certain public bodies. To access records in the CSO, an application must be made in writing (accompanying form may be used) to:
Freedom of Information Officer, Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork,
Applications by email are also accepted. No reason need be given on why you want to see any records. The public body must give you an explanation if you are not given what you ask for. A decision on your application must normally be made within 20 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and Good Friday).
You can ask, subject to the exemptions specified in the Act, for the following records:
- any records relating to your personally, whenever created;
- all other records created after 21 April 1998 not routinely available to the public.
A "record" can be a paper document, information held on computer, printouts, maps, plans, microfilm, microfiche, audio-visual material, etc.
In the case of records that are not directly personal to you the following fees must be paid on application
|Type of Request/Application||Standard Fee||Reduced Fee * & **|
|Request for a record under Section 7||€15||€10|
|Initial Request Internal Appeal||€75||€25|
|Appeal to Information Commissioner||€150||€50|
|Request under section 7 for personal information||No charge||No charge|
|Application under section 17 for amendment of a record containing incorrect, incomplete or misleading personal information||No charge||No charge|
|Application under section 18 for the reasons for a decision affecting the individual||No charge||No charge|
* Fees will not apply where a person appeals a decision to charge a fee or deposit, or a fee or deposit of a particular amount under section 47 of the FOI Act.
** Reduced fee will apply in respect of third parties who appeal a decision of a public body to release their information on public interest grounds. Reduced fee will apply in respect of medical card holders and their dependents.
If you are not satisfied with the decision on an FOI request you may ask the Department or body for an "internal review". A more senior officer will then review your application. You will be told the outcome within 15 working days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays and Good Friday). If dissatisfied with this, you may ask for a review by:
The Information Commissioner, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Access to identifiable statistical information held by the CSO is exempted from the provisions of the FOI Act. The confidentiality of these records continues to be fully protected by the Statistics Act, 1993. They constitute the bulk of the CSO's information holdings.
Guide to CSO information
Details of the classes of records held by the CSO are published in a Reference Book as required under Section 15 and 16 of the FOI Act. This may be consulted in the CSO libraries in Dublin and Cork, accessed on the CSO Internet site (http://www.cso.ie) or obtained directly from the CSO.
Details of the wide range of statistical information routinely disseminated by the CSO are available in a free Guide available from the CSO's Information Section in Cork (extension 5028, 5029 or 5030).
Further information or assistance
For further information or assistance on the operation of the FOI Act within the CSO contact:
Kieran Harte , Central Statistics Office, Skehard Road, Cork, (extension 5168)