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Guide to the Functions and Records of the Department, Section 15 Reference Book and Guide to the Rules and Practices of the Department, Section 16 Reference Book - Revised edition – July 2007



The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act establishes three new statutory rights:

  • a legal right for each person to access information held by public bodies;
  • a legal right for each person to have official information relating to him/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading;
  • a legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting oneself.

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.

This manual is prepared in accordance with publication requirements set out in Section 15 of the Act.  Its purpose is to facilitate access to official information held by this Department, by outlining the structure and functions of the Department; information on the classes of records we hold and information on how to make a request to the Department under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003.

Routinely Available Information

The Freedom of Information Act is designed to allow public access to information held by public bodies that is NOT routinely available through other sources.

Access to information under the Act is subject to certain exemptions and involves specific procedures and time limits. This manual provides a guide to the structure of the Department so as to help you access information under the Freedom of Information Acts.

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