What records can I look for?

Under the Referendum Commission Act 1998, separate Referendum Commissions are established for each referendum. Each Referendum Commission is dissolved one month after it presents its report on a referendum. Its records then transfer to the Standards in Public Office Commission. Any FOI requests to a Referendum Commission on hand when the Commission is dissolved will automatically transfer to the Standards in Public Office Commission. 

If you wish to make a request for records relating to a former Referendum Commission, please see details on the Standards in Public Office Commission’s website.

Freedom of Information Act 2014

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 came into effect on 14 October 2014, with specific start dates for certain provisions set out in section 1 of the Act.

What records of the Referendum Commission are covered?

Records held by us are covered by the FOI Act. There are some exclusions, which are set out in the legislation. For information about the records we hold, you may contact Stephanie O'Connell, FOI Officer by phoning +353 1-639 5651 or sending an email to foi@refcom.ie.

For records relating to previous Referendums you may contact Brian McKevitt, FOI Officer by phoning +353 1-639 5713 or sending an email to foi@sipo.ie.

How to make a request

To request records held by the Referendum Commission, please write to us stating that you are making a request under the FOI Act 2014. You should address your request to the FOI Officer, Referendum Commission, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, or send an email to foi@refcom.ie.

Your request should:

  • refer to the FOI Act
  • give as much information as possible about the records you are seeking
  • state whether the records requested are personal or non-personal
  • specify if you would like copies of the records or access in another form

How you can help us deal with your request

If you are looking for a record, you should provide as much information as possible to allow us to find it. If you want it in a particular format (e.g. a photocopy or if you want to examine it) you should state this clearly in your request.

Amending a record held by the Referendum Commission

If you are looking for a record to be changed or amended, your request should identify the record and the amendment requested, and provide evidence that the amendment is necessary.

How we will help you in making your request

The FOI Act says a public body should help a person looking for a record under the FOI Act. It specifically states that we should assist you if you have a disability. In addition, we may contact you to clarify your request.

Do I have to pay a fee?

In certain circumstances fees are charged under the FOI Act 2014. There is no fee for making an initial FOI request. The fee for an internal review is €30, or €10 for the holder of a medical card. If a fee is payable to this Office in relation to an internal review you can pay by cheque, bank draft or postal order.

You can also be charged for time spent finding records to be given to you, and for any photocopying costs incurred by the public body in providing material to you. Such costs are very unlikely to arise in the case of personal information. You cannot be charged for the time we spend deciding whether to grant your FOI request.

How long will it take?

Once we receive a request, we have up to four weeks to make a decision. The decision will be sent to you in writing. It will say if your request is being granted, part-granted or refused, and give you the reason(s) behind the decision.

What if I am unhappy with the decision?

If you are unhappy with the decision, or if after four weeks you have not received a decision (this is called a refusal to your FOI request by non-reply), you can apply for an 'internal review'.

An 'internal review' is an appeals system within this office. It will be carried out by an officer who is more senior than the person who decided on your original request. To request an internal review you must write to us referring to the decision received (if one was made) and state that you are making an internal review appeal.

You cannot raise any further issues in your internal review appeal. The only purpose of the review is for another officer to reconsider the decision on your original request only. We have three weeks to make a decision on your request for an internal review.