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Privacy Policy for FOI Review

Data Protection Privacy Notice for the Review of the Freedom of Information Act

The Central Policy Unit for Freedom of Information at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has responsibility for matters relating to the FOI system and transparency policy more generally.  The terms of reference for the Central Policy Unit are part of the Code of Practice for FOI, issued pursuant to section 48 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014.

In addition, under the Ministers and Secretaries Act 2011, the Minister for Public Expenditure and reform has responsibility for implementing, reviewing, formulating and developing policy in relation to various matters, including Freedom of Information, as well as for modernising and developing the public service.

The Department is currently undertaking a review of the Freedom of Information Act.  Further details on the review may be found at the following link:

In the course of the review, your personal data may be processed by the Department in a number of contexts.

We have established a mailing list to allow us to communicate with anyone who is interested as the review progresses.  If you choose to sign up to the mailing list, your name and email address will be retained and processed where necessary to keep you updated on the review.  If you wish to have your details deleted from the mailing list, please contact the Department by email at

We will be undertaking consultations with stakeholders and the public by various means throughout the review process.

Where a consultation is stated to be undertaken on an anonymous basis, then the Department does not wish for individuals to provide personal data in this context.  However, if you do choose to provide such data, it will be processed in accordance with the terms of this policy.

In other parts of the review, consultation will be undertaken on the basis that identifying information will be provided in order to allow the Department to communicate further with the data subjects concerned, as well as to consider any issues that they may wish to raise.

The Review process will require the Department to publish a number of documents, including a final report.  This may involve taking quotes or extracts from information provided during the Review, or setting out descriptions of particular scenarios or circumstances.  We will take the utmost care to ensure insofar as possible that particular individuals are not identifiable in the published material, and will ensure that any such publication is only to the extent that is necessary and proportionate.

This policy will apply to all processing of personal data for the purpose of the review of the Freedom of Information Act, other than where such alternative or supplemental arrangements as the context may require have been notified to the data subject concerned.


Who has access to your personal data?

The personal data obtained and processed in the course of the review will be held securely by the FOI Central Policy Unit at the Department of Public Expenditure and reform.


On what lawful basis do we process your personal data?

Our Lawful basis for Processing under the GDPR
Processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the controller is subject

Article 6(1)(c) GDPR

Freedom of Information Act 2014

Ministers and Secretaries Act 2011

Task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller

Article 6(1)(e) GDPR


In addition to the specific legal imperatives contained in the Freedom of Information Act and the Ministers and Secretaries Act, the review is carried out in the public interest and forms part of the functions of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform as set out in those provisions.


Data Storage and Retention

Because of the public nature of the Departments’ functions around this review, some of the material may be archived in the public interest under the National Archives Act.  Retention periods will be determined in accordance with the provisions of that legislation.


Your data rights

You have rights under data protection law in relation to how we use your personal information. You have the right, free of charge, to:

  • Request a copy of the personal information we hold about you. You can do this by completing a Subject Access Request (SAR) form. A copy of the form is available here.
  • Rectify any inaccurate personal information we hold about you.
  • Restrict processing of your personal information in certain circumstances.
  • Not be subject to a decision which is based solely on automated processing where that decision produces a legal effect on you or otherwise significantly affects you. Your personal data submitted as part of this process will not be the subject of automated decisions of this nature.
  • Complain about the processing of your personal data. We will implement and maintain a complaints process whereby you will be able to contact Corporate Support Team who will work with you to bring the complaint to a satisfactory conclusion for both parties. If, however, you feel that your complaint hasn’t been dealt with fully or appropriately, you have the right to complain to the Data Protection Commission.  Further information is available at


What if I do not want to provide my Personal Data?

You are under no obligation to provide your personal data to us in the context of this review.  However, this may limit the Department’s ability to engage with you as the review progresses.

If you have any queries or concerns please contact the Department’s Data Protection Officer at