Application Fees

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003, and of the relevant regulations, in certain cases a fee must be paid at the time of the making of a request or an appeal. This requirement to pay a fee came into force on 7 July 2003. Fees are not payable where the record(s) concerned contains or contain only personal information relating to the requester. If the fee is not paid the request/appeal is deemed not to have been made. However, in certain circumstances, no fee is payable or reduced fees may apply.

The details of when payment is necessary, and the rates of payment, are set out below:

Type of request
/ appeal

Appeal to OIC

Access to personal information relating to the applicantNo feeNo feeNo fee
Amendment to records (Section 17 of FOI Act)No feeNo feeNo fee
Statement of reasons (Section 18 of FOI Act) No feeNo feeNo fee
Appeal of decision to charge a feeNo feeNo feeNo fee
Request to which Section 28(6) of the Act appliesNo feeNo feeNo fee
Request to which Section 28(6) of the Act appliesNo feeNo feeNo fee
Access to a non-personal record by a non-medical card holder €15€75 €150
Request for a non-personal record by medical card holder or dependant of medical card holder €10 €25 €50
Third parties appealing a decision of a public body to release their information on public interest grounds--€50

Search and Retrieval

Fees may apply in respect of the search and retrieval and/or copying of records which are the subject of an FOI request. Generally no fee will apply if the records being sought contain only personal information, unless a significant number of records are involved.

Search and retrieval/copying fees are not sought:

  • where the release of the records, the subject of the FOI request, would be of particular assistance to any individual or group seeking to understand an issue of 'National Importance'
  • where the cost of collecting the fee is greater than the fee itself.

Fees charged

Where these fees are sought the following rates apply:

Search & retrieval: €20.95 per hour

Copying of records:

  • Photocopy 4c per page
  • Floppy Disk 51c
  • CD ROM €10.16
  • X-ray €6.35

The number of hours of search and retrieval time which can be charged by a public body is limited to the number of hours it would take to find the records in a well organised filing system. The charge is only imposed in respect of the physical act of searching.

If the search and retrieval fee is likely to exceed €50.79 a deposit of at least 20% must be sought by the public body. The requester should be notified of this within 2 weeks of their FOI request and should also be provided with an estimate as to how many hours searching will be required. The body will not begin searching until the deposit paid.

The requester can contact the body to see how the deposit could either be reduced or eliminated e.g. by making their request more specific and therefore reducing the number of records which would need to be searched for. If the request is refused or part granted the deposit will be repaid.

What can the requester appeal?

The deposit sought and the amount of the final fee can be appealed. However, only the fee will be considered, the records, which are the subject of the FOI request, will not be examined where a deposit or final fee is appealed

Jardin, (oil on canvas) - Anne Madden, 1989, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
arrow bullet iconJardin, (oil on canvas) - Anne Madden, 1989, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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