FOI and the HSE : Questions and Answers

As described elsewhere on this site, it may not be necessary to submit a request under the Act to obtain the information you need. Before making a formal request, make direct contact with the health professional, administrator or press office with whom you would normally communicate.

Is the HSE covered by the Freedom of Information Act?

Yes.

From what date is the Executive covered?

From January 1, 2005.

How do I make an FOI request to the Executive?

The organisational structures in existence at the end of 2004 will continue to function in relation to their ongoing day to day business. Please submit your request in writing to the relevant FOI office.

What happens to requests already submitted to health boards?

They will be answered within the timescale provided by the Act.

An FOI request has been refused by a health board. Where do I send my request for a review of this decision?

The decision letter should indicate the office to which to send requests for reviews and appeals. Please submit your review request there.

Can I access older records created by health boards?

Yes. These records are now under the control of the Executive.

Can I access the records of other bodies such as the General Medical Services (Payments) Board which have been subsumed by the HSE?

Yes. The GMS (Payments) Board and the Health Service Employers Agency (HSEA) were not public bodies prior to their dissolution. There will be rights of access to the records created by these bodies prior to their dissolution but there will be no FOI right to a statement of reasons for the action of the dissolved body.