Freedom of Information (FOI)
The National Centre for Guidance in Education became subject to the Freedom of Information Act with effect from 31st May 2006.
The Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals.
The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:
- the right to access official records held by Government Departments and all public bodies that conform to the provisions of Section 6 of the Act;
- 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 from a certain date (31 May 2006 in respect of NCGE), people can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created, and to other records created after 31 May 2006
Routinely available information is available on our website www.ncge.ie. In accordance with the requirements of the FOI Act, the NCGE has compiled a FOI Section 15 & 16 Reference Book as a guide to the functions, records, rules and practices of the NCGE. Read HERE
The following records come within the scope of the FOI Acts:
- all records relating to personal information held by NCGE irrespective of when they were created
- all other records created from the commencement of the FOI Act for NCGE (31 May 2006)
- any records necessary to the understanding of a current record even if created prior to 31 May 2006
- personnel records of serving staff created from 31 May 2006 and those created prior to that date where being used or proposed to be used in a way which adversely affects or may affect the person involved.
However, in order to allow Government business to be properly conducted, it will sometimes be necessary to exempt from release certain types of information in some circumstances. These are set out in the Act. Among the key exemptions are records relating to:
- Government meetings,
- law enforcement and security,
- confidential and commercially sensitive information,
- personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request).
Requests may also be refused if they are deemed too voluminous or unclear but Léargas is obliged to assist the requester in trying to overcome this.
Is there a charge?
There is no charge for submitting a request.
In respect of non-personal requests, other charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by NCGE in providing you with the material requested (search, retrieval and copying charges). 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 charge of €500 applies. Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, NCGE can refuse to process the request.
Applications under the FOI Act
Under the FOI Act, anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available.
Applications under the FOI Act should be addressed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
NCGE, Avoca House
189 - 193 Parnell Street
Your application should be made in writing and, if applicable, accompanied by the appropriate fee (see https://foi.gov.ie/ for more). An application in respect of your personal information is free under Section 7 of the FOI Act. Any applicable fee should be paid by Bank Draft, Money Order, Postal Order or cheque drawn on a bank in the Republic of Ireland, made payable to the National Centre for Guidance in Education.
If you are not using either of the forms outlined above, then your application should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act.
For further information about the Freedom of Information legislation, please again refer to the FOI website
Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government requests annual statistical information in relation to AIE (Access to Information on the Environment) requests received by the Department of Education and Skills and bodies under its aegis (of which NCGE is one). NCGE provides statistics on any requests it receives to the DES.
Click here for summaries of AIE requests, as gathered by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The AIE contact person in NCGE is David Cullen whom you can contact at firstname.lastname@example.org