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Freedom of Information (FOI) and Access to Information on the Environment (AIE)

Freedom of Information

This FOI Sections 15 and 16 Reference Book – A Guide to the functions, records, rules and practices of the Athlone Education Centre - is compiled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Acts 1997, as amended by the Freedom of Information Act 2003. All references in this manual to the Freedom of Information Act or Acts refer to the 1997 Act as amended by the 2003 Act.


The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts, effective from 21st April 1998, establish 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; and
  • a legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting oneself.

The Acts assert 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.

Purpose of Reference Book

This reference book has been prepared and published in accordance with the requirements of Sections 15 and 16 of the FOI Acts.

In accordance with Section 15 of the Act, the purpose of this reference book is to facilitate access to official information held by Athlone Education Centre, by outlining the structure and functions of this organisation, details of the services we provide and how they may be availed of, 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.

Section 16 of the FOI Act requires us to publish a book containing:

the rules, procedures, practices, guidelines and interpretations used by the body, and an index of any precedents kept, for the purposes of decisions under any enactment or scheme administered by us ‘with respect to rights, privileges, benefits, obligations, penalties or other sanctions to which members of the public are or may be entitled or subject under the enactment or scheme’ together with

‘appropriate information in relation to the manner or intended manner of administration of any such enactment or scheme.’

 Access to Information on the Environment

You have the right to obtain certain environmental information from Athlone Education Centre under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 (as amended). The AIE legislation sets out the procedures for public access to information relating to the environment held by public bodies.

To make a request to Athlone Education Centre under AIE legislation, we ask that you submit your request electronically to the email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in writing to: FOI Officer, Athlone Education Centre, Ireland.  In your request, we ask that you:

• Specify that you are making the request under AIE legislation and clearly state the environmental information that you are requesting

• Please try to provide as much detail as possible to enable us to process your request efficiently

• Include your return address

You will receive a response within one month from the date on which the request is received by Athlone Education Centre.

Disclaimer/Note: Please be advised that we may refuse AIE requests on certain mandatory grounds (personal information/third party information) or discretionary grounds (commercial confidentiality etc).  Also, please ensure that we hold the environment information you seek.

Charges: There is no initial fee for making an AIE request.  Responses will be emailed free of charge.  Should you wish the information available in hard-copy, a charge of 5 cent per sheet will apply.  If required, postage fees will also apply.

Appeals:  If you would like to appeal a decision made by the Athlone Education Centre, you can do so by sending a request in writing asking for an internal review of the decision. Please address your review request to: Director, Athlone Education Centre

If after the internal review, you are unsatisfied with the decision and would like to make a complaint or appeal the decision again, you can do so by contacting the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (“CEI”). You must appeal or make a complaint to the CEI within one month of getting the reviewed decision from Athlone Education Centre.