Freedom of Information FAQ


  1. What is Freedom of Information?
  2. Can you appeal against Laois County Council’s decision regarding what records you can get under the Freedom of Information Act?
  3. How do you apply to get records from Laois County Council under the Freedom of Information Act?
  4. Will there be a charge in getting Freedom of Information records from Laois County Council?
  5. Where can you get more information regarding Laois County Council and the Freedom of Information Act?
  6. What Laois County Council records can you ask for under the Freedom of Information Act?


1)  What is Freedom of Information?

The Freedom of Information Act came into effect for local authorities on 21st October 1998. This Act gives you the right to access records held by Laois County Council. If you are refused access to records the council must give you an explanation. A decision on your request will normally be made within four weeks. All requests must be in writing.

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2)  Can you appeal against Laois County Council’s decision regarding what records you can get under the Freedom of Information Act?

Yes. If you are not satisfied with a decision, you may ask Laois County Council for an internal review of a decision. This will be conducted by a more senior officer, and will normally be completed within three weeks. Applications for internal reviews relating to non-personal records cost €75.00 (There is a reduced fee of €25.00 for medical card holders

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3)  How do you apply to get records from Laois County Council under the Freedom of Information Act?

Fill in an application form or write a letter stating what records you are seeking and that you are seeking access under the Freedom of Information Acts.

Send it to the address printed below. If you are applying for non-personal records please enclose the appropriate fee.

Laois County Council,
Freedom of Information Officer,
Áras an Chontae, Portlaoise,
Co. Laois.
Telephone: 057-8664242
Email:jkavanagh@laoiscoco.ie.

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4)  Will there be a charge in getting Freedom of Information records from Laois County Council?

Laois County Council is obliged to charge for requests for non-personal records. A fee of €15.00 must accompany your request. A reduced fee of €10.00 applies if you are the holder of a medical card. In some circumstances you may also be charged a fee for the “search and retrieval” of records (€20.95 per hour) and the cost of photocopying documents (4c per page). Generally there will not be any charge for requests for personal information.

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5)  Where can you get more information regarding Laois County Council and the Freedom of Information Act?

Laois County Council has published a reference book in accordance with the FOI Acts. A copy of the book (Section 15 Book) can be downloaded from our website. The FOI Acts 1997 and 2003 are available on the government website (www.gov.ie) or from the Government Publications Office, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2.

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6)  What Laois County Council records can you ask for under the Freedom of Information Act?

You can ask for the following records held by Laois County Council: Any records relating to you personally, regardless of when they were created. All other records created after 21 October 1998.

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