Freedom of Information

 

The Freedom of Information Act, 1997 (amended by Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act, 2003 and the Freedom of Information Act 2014) gives the public the right to access records held by Government Departments and certain public bodies.

A person does not have to specify why access to particular records is required and the Government Department or body concerned must provide an explanation to the requester if access to any record being sought is refused.

 

Making a Request

 

Under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts 1997, 2003 and 2014 you have a right to apply for access to information which is not normally available to the public.

You have a right to access (subject to the provisions of the FOI Acts) to records held by the Probation Service; have personal information about yourself which is held by the Probation Service corrected where it is incorrect, not complete or is misleading; and access to the reasons for decisions made by the Probation Service directly which affect you.

You can ask for the following records;

  • records which have personal information about you;
  • all other records created by the Probation Service since the commencement date of the Act - that is 21 April 1998 - (subject to the limitations of the Act); and any other record which is necessary to help understand a current record.


The Probation Service must respond to the request within 20 working days.



Exemptions

Some information is exempt from disclosure under the FOI Act.s Examples include: Information about individuals protected under the Data Protection Act; Information that is readily available by other means; and Information that would be prejudicial to the effective conduct of the Probation Service.


Data Protection Act

The Data Protection Acts (1998 and 2003) relates to information that the Probation Service hold about individuals.  It governs the type of information that we can hold and who we can disclose it to.  In general we must make sure that the information that we hold is relevant, accurate and up to date; held only for the reasons that it's collected; and not kept for longer than necessary and not excessive.


Requests for Information from the Probation Service

An application for information under the FOI Act should be addressed to:

Freedom of Information Officer,
FOI Unit,
The Probation Service,
Haymarket,
Smithfield,
Dublin 7.
Tel. No. 01-817 3600

Alternatively email: foi@probation.ie

You must make your applications in writing and you must say that you want the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

If information is desired in a particular form, for example, photocopy, computer disc, etc. this should also be mentioned in the application. You must give as much detail as possible to identify the record and to help with the request. You should give a day-time telephone number so that you can be contacted if necessary.

The applicant has the right to seek an internal review of any decision and can also apply to the Information Commissioner for a complete review of the case if s/he is not happy with the result of that review.

 

FOI in the Probation Service

 

The Probation Service, as an agency within the Department of Justice & Equality, takes guidance on Freedom of Information directly from them.

 

Publication Scheme

Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires the Probation Service to prepare and publish a scheme concerning the publication of information by the Probation Service.  This scheme has been prepared in accordance with the guidelines published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

 

Non-Personal FOI Requests

Access our list of non-personal FOI Requests.

 

Useful FOI Links

 

Freedom of Information Act 2014

Public Bodies covered by the Act

Information Commissioners Index to Decisions

 

Other Useful Sites

FOI Central Policy Unit

Department of Finance

Office of the Information Commissioner