Freedom Of Information

Last updated at 10:41 on 03/02/2016

The Freedom of Information (FOI) Acts provide that, from 21 April 1998, every person has the following legal rights:

  • The right to access official records held by Government Departments or other public bodies listed in the Acts;
  • The right to have personal information held on them corrected or updated where such information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading; and
  • The right to be given reasons for decisions taken by public bodies that affect them.

These rights mean that people can seek access to personal information held on them no matter when the information was created, and to other records created after 21 April 1998. In certain circumstances records created before 21 April, 1998 may be accessible particularly if these records are required to assist in understanding records created after the Act commenced on 21 April, 1998.

The Valuation Office has a policy of posting a register of Freedom of Information requests on the Office’s website. All requests from 1 January 2005 other than requests for personal information are available here.

Types of records

The following records, subject to certain exemptions which may arise under the provisions of the 1997 and 2003 Acts, come within the scope of the Act

  • All personal records held by the Office regardless of when created
  • All records created from commencement date 21 April 1998
  • All other records necessary to the understanding of a current record

Making a Request

Requests under the Freedom of Information Act should be made in writing to

FOI Unit
Valuation Office 
Irish Life Centre 
Abbey Street Lower 
Dublin 1 
Tel 01-8171000, Fax 01-8171180 or by e-mail to info@valoff.ie

You must state in your letter that the request is being made under the Freedom of Information Acts, 1997 and 2003.  Please give as much information as possible to help us identify the record. If you would like the information in a particular form, (e.g. photocopy, computer disk, etc.) mention this in your application. Include a daytime contact telephone number to allow the person dealing with your application to contact you should any clarification be required in relation to your request.

The Valuation Office is required to acknowledge receipt of a request under the Act within two weeks and is obliged to respond to the request within 4 weeks.

 

Search and Retrieval, Photocopying Fees

No fee will be charged in respect of personal records, either for the search and retrieval of records or for photocopying, except where a large number of records is involved.

For non-personal information, fees may be charged for the time spent in locating and copying records, based on a standard hourly rate (€20.95 per hour). Photocopies are charged at €0.04 per sheet.

No charges may apply in respect of the time spent by the Office in considering requests.

A deposit may be payable where the total fee for search and retrieval is likely to exceed €50.79. In these circumstances, the Office will notify you and if you wish help in amending the request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the fee.

Fees should be paid by postal order, bank draft or cheque made payable to the Commissioner of Valuation.  Regrettably we are currently unable to accept payment by means of credit or debit card.

Internal Review

If you are dissatisfied with the initial decision, you may seek an internal review which will be carried out by an official at a higher level. You may also seek an internal review if you have not received a reply within 4 weeks of your initial application.

A request for internal review must be submitted within 4 weeks of the initial decision (or the date the decision was due in the case of non-reply). The Valuation Office must complete the review within 3 weeks.

There is no fee for a request for a review in relation to personal records. However, a fee of €30 is required for internal review of a decision in relation to non-personal records (€10 in the case of medical card holders or their dependants).

There is no fee payable for cases where a review is sought due to the non-reply of the initial request.

Review by the Information Commissioner

If you are dissatisfied with the internal review, you may appeal the decision to the Information Commissioner. If you have not received a reply to your application for internal review within 3 weeks, this is considered a refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Commissioner. The Commissioner's decision is final and can only be appealed to the High Court on a point of law.

Appeals to the Information Commissioner should be made in writing to the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2

There is no fee for a request for an appeal in relation to personal records. However, a fee of €150 is required for a review by the Information Commissioner in relation to non-personal records (€50 in the case of medical card holders or their dependants). No fee is required for cases where an appeal is being sought due to the non-reply of the internal review.

Further Information

Further information on the functions and records and on the rules and practices of the Valuation Office is available in the Section 15 Functions and Records Guide and Section 16 Rules and Practices Guide published in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. This guide is available here.

FOI Log (PDF)

Contacts

FoI Requests and General Information see contact names below:
Brendan Robbins
Tel 01-81710151035 
Email brendan.robbins@valoff.ie
Anne Durkin
Tel 01-8171149 
Email anne.durkin@valoff.ie

FoI Internal Review and Liaison
Catherine English
Tel 01 8171015
Email catherine.english@valoff.ie

Office of the Information Commissioner
18 Lower Leeson Street
Dublin 2
Tel 01-6395689
Website http://www.oic.gov.ie/

FoI Central Policy Unit

Department of Finance
Website http://www.foi.gov.ie/

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