Freedom of Information
Re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI)
St. James's Hospital complies with the regulations on the Re-use of Public Sector Information and we encourage the re-use of the information that we produce. The regulations are available at http://www.psi.gov.ie.
Freedom of Information Act
1. What is the Freedom of Information Act?
The Freedom of Information Act provides the public with the legal right:
- To access information held by St. James's Hospital.
- To have personal information corrected where it may be incomplete, incorrect or misleading.
- To be given reasons for decisions made by St. James's Hospital which affect them.
These legal rights are subject to exemptions with regard to public interest and the right to privacy.
2. How does it work?
The Act requires St. James's Hospital to:
- respond to requests for information from the public, by acknowledging receipt of the request within 2 weeks and releasing or, making the decision to withhold, information within 4 weeks (this may be extended).
Publish two manuals and make them available on the internet, in libraries, and in citizen information centres
- "A Guide to St. James's Hospital"
- "A Guide to how services are administered in St. James's Hospital".
3. How can a request be made?
All request must be made to:
The Freedom of Information Officer
Freedom of Information Offfice
St. James's Hospital
- You must make a request in writing and sign your letter. Proof of identity will be sought before access to personal information is granted
- You must state that it is being made under the Freedom of Information Act, 1997.
- You must state clearly the exact records/information being requested.
- You must state clearly the way in which you wish to receive the records/information for example to view the original at the hospital or to receive photocopies of the original).
4. Can I get access to any information that I seek?
You may request access to any information held by St. James's Hospital.
However, in certain circumstances it may be necessary to exempt from release, certain types of information. These include:-
- Personal Information (If the information does not relate to the person making the request).
- Information supplied to St. James's Hospital in confidence.
- Information relating to commercial business that is deemed commercially sensitive.
5. What is the procedure for handling requests in St. James's Hospital?
- Your request is acknowledged by return of post.
- The records/information you request are searched for and assessed for release.
- A decision is made by the hospitals delegated Decision-Maker to release or not to release the information requested.
- You are then informed of the decision and you will receive the information/records requested or information on the arrangements for viewing of originals.
- Where a request has been refused, you will be informed of the reasons for the refusal and you will receive information on how to appeal the decision.
6. What can I do if my request has been refused, deferred or only partially granted?
- You are entitled to have the decision reviewed by the Internal Reviewer within the Hospital and if the decision remains the same then:
- You are entitled to have the decision appealed by the Information Commissioner.
There is a provision to appeal to the High Court.
7. Is it always necessary to use the F.O.I. Act to request access to records/Information?
NO - You may be able to obtain the information you seek by other means such as:
- By accessing the St. James's Hospital web site at - www.stjames.ie
- By making a request in writing to the relevant head of the department of the hospital where you know the record/information is held.
- By talking to the relevant staff of St. James's Hospital who deal with the information/records you request.
By requesting information such as the Annual Reports, which the Hospital publishes.
8. Is there a charge for accessing information under the F.O.I. Act?
Charges may apply to the search for and photocopying of records/information depending on the type of information/ record, ease of access and volume requested. If a charge is applied you will be informed in advance of the release of the information/records.