Freedom of Information
The National Federation was assigned responsibility by the Department of Health & Children to oversee implementation of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 in the Intellectual Disability Sector. All statistical information for the FOI Central Policy Unit in the Department of Finance and for the Information Commissioner's office is processed though the Secretariat office.
The National Federation networks operate at regional level and interface with local HSE Area networks.
Full details of all FOI information/legislation - e.g. Freedom of Information Act 1997 and Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 - are available on the FOI Central Policy Unit of the Department of Finance website.
The HSE website also provides a link to their staff guide which is designed to explain the main provisions of Data Protection and Freedom of Information legislation. There is also a section in the guide on Administrative Access, that is, how to obtain personal information in a routine and informal way.
Office of the Information Commissioner
The Information Commissioner's main function is to conduct reviews of decisions made by public bodies under the Freedom of Information Acts. Emily O'Reilly, the Information Commissioner, also reviews the operation of the Freedom of Information legislation and works to foster an attitude of openness across public bodies. The website of the Office of the Information Commissioner also provides information on the Freedom of Information Act in general and, in particular, on the role of the Office. The website also allows an individual to make an appeal to the Information Commissioner on-line.
Procedures for Inquiry Officers under the Disability Act 2005
The Disability Act 2005 provides that the head a public body must draw up and publish procedures for the making and investigation of complaints in relation to the failure of that body to provide accessible services in accordance with that Act. The Information Commissioner has now pubished procedures for her Inquiry Officers under that Act.
Data Protection Commissioner
The Data Protection Commissioner aims to protect the individual's right to privacy by enabling people to know, and to exercise control over how their personal information is used, in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 & 2003. The website of the Data Protection Commissioner also outlines the standards which must be complied with by individuals and organisations in handling personal data.
For further information, please contact Caroline Looney.