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Central Statistics Office

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Information Leaflet

Access to Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 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 12 No charge No charge
Initial Request Internal Appeal €30 €10
Appeal to Information Commissioner €50 €15
Request under section 12 for personal information No charge No charge
Application under section 9 for amendment of a record containing incorrect, incomplete or misleading personal information No charge No charge
Application under section 10 for the reasons for a decision affecting the individual No charge No charge
Search and Retrieval (once the €101 free allowance has been exceeded) €20 per hour -
Photocopies €0.04 per sheet -

* 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 27 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.

Please note that if you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing Health Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that Health Board.

Charges may also be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by the Office in providing you with the material requested.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is less than €101, no fee is charged.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €500 but less than €700, a maximum ceiling of €500 applies.  Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the body can refuse to process the request.   Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing.  Payment should be made by way of bank draft, money postal order, or personal cheque made payable to the Accounting Officer, Central Statistics Office.  Since the introduction of e-Day on 19 September 2014, central Government, local authorities and State agencies have stopped issuing and accepting cheques from businesses. Please contact our FOI Unit should you require our Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) details at (021) 4535000 extension 5385 or (01) 4984000 extension 5385. 

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

Statistical exemption

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.

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 5385)