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Freedom Of Information

​​​​​​​​​​​Frequently Asked Questions


What is the purpose of the Freedom of Information Act? 

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to give the public the right of access to records held by public bodies, to the greatest extent possible that is consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy. The Act lays out a formal process for making requests and emphasises that public bodies should be open and accountable as a matter of principle.  


Do I always have to seek access to information using Freedom of Information?

No. There is a large amount of information about LIT available from the Model Publication Scheme, our annual report, prospectus and other reports available on our website.  


How does FOI work?

Where an individual makes a request of LIT to provide certain information, LIT is required to acknowledge this request within two weeks (10 working days) and make a decision on the request within 4 weeks (20 working days). In certain circumstances, this time-frame may be extended e.g. where a large volume of records is sought. If a response is not issued within the specified time, the request is deemed to have been refused. 


How can I make an FOI request?

If you wish to make a request, you must do so in writing or email as follows: 

  • State that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Act
  • Provide as much detail as possible to enable LIT to identify, search for and retrieve (if held) the record(s) sought.
  • Include your name, postal and/or email address and contact telephone number so that we can contact you to clarify aspects of your request, where necessary.

If your request is for personal information, we may ask you for documentation to verify your identity in order to ensure that we only release personal records to the correct person. 

An FOI request can also be submitted using the Institute’s FOI Application Form.

Is there a fee for making an FOI request?

No fees apply where the request relates to access to personal records, unless the request relates to a significant number of records. With regard to access to non-personal records, there is no application fee for making an FOI request. The Act does, however, provide for certain other fees. These are set out below.  

Type of Request 


Initial request for a record 


Internal review 


Review by Information Commissioner 


Application for amendment of incorrect personal information 


Application for reasons for a decision affecting an individual 


Search, Retrieval and Copying Fees 

  • Search and retrieval of records
  • Photocopying


€20 per hour 

4 cent per sheet 


Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is €101 or less, no fee will be imposed. The maximum charge for any one request cannot exceed €500 and there is an overall ceiling limit of €700. If the estimated cost of search, retrieval and copying is more than €700, we will contact you to discuss whether the request can be refined to bring the estimated costs below this amount. Otherwise, we may have to refuse the request. In practice, we will always notify you in advance where we envisage charging a fee.  


Are any records exempt from the scope of the Act? 

Certain information is excluded from the scope of the Act. This includes:  

  • Personal information (other than information directly relating to the person making the request);
  • Commercially sensitive information;
  • Information given to the Institute in confidence;
  • Where the granting of the request would be contrary to the public interest;
  • Records, the release of which, could have an adverse effect on the performance by LIT of its functions or that could prejudice investigations or inquiries conducted by or on behalf of LIT;
  • Records which would be exempt from production in proceedings in a court on the ground of legal professional privilege;
  • Information relating to research being carried out where disclosure before completion of the research could expose LIT to serious disadvantage; 

Can I appeal a decision?

Yes. If you are not satisfied with the decision made on your request, you can seek an Internal Review of the decision. An officer of LIT more senior than the individual who made the decision on your request will carry out the Internal Review. You must submit your request for an Internal Review within 4 weeks of the receipt of a reply to your initial request. A fee of €30 is required for the Internal Review. If, following this Review, you are still not satisfied, you can appeal this decision to the Office of the Information Commissioner. There is a fee of €50 for an appeal to the Information Commissioner.  



• FOI Central Policy Unit : http://foi.gov.ie/
• Data Protection Commissioner: www.dataprotection.ie
• Office of the Ombudsman: www.ombudsman.ie
• Office of the Ombudsman for Children : www.oco.ie
• Citizens Information Centre: www.citizensinformation.ie

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