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This Guide is prepared in accordance with Section 15 of the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003 which require each public body to provide general information on its structure and functions, a description of the classes of records it holds and the way in which customers can get access to the information held about them.
All references in this Guide to the Freedom of Information Act or Acts refer to the 1997 Act as amended by the 2003 Act. The Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act came into effect on 11 April 2003. This Act introduced a number of important amendments to the 1997 Act notably in relation to Section 19 (Government Records), Section 20 (Deliberations of Public Bodies), Section 24 (Security, Defence and International Relations) and Section 47(Fees).
The Guide was first published in April 1998 and has been updated since then. It was restructured and expanded in April 2001 and further revised to take account of developments since then.
Copies of this publication are available to view in all public libraries and local Citizens' Information Centres. Electronic copies are available on the Department's website at: http://www.welfare.ie
A summary of the Guidelines on Schemes administered by the Department, published under Section 16 of the Acts, is also included in Part 2 of this Guide.
Part 1. Freedom of Information (FOI) 1.1 Rights under the Acts1.2 Routinely Available Information1.3 Access to Information under the Acts1.4 Appointment of FOI Officers in DSP1.5 Making an FOI equest1.6 Right of Appeal1.7 Internal Review1.8 Review by the Commissioner1.9 Confidentiality of Information1.10 Fees
Part 2. Summary of Scheme Guidelines 2.1 Publication of Guidelines under Section 162.2 Summary of Contents2.3 How to access Guidelines2.4 List of Guidelines
Part 3. Overview of Department of Social Protection 3.1 Description & Function3.2 Mission Statement and Values3.3 High-Level Goals3.4 Structure & Organisation of Department3.5 Agencies3.6 Structural Breakdown by Branch3.7 Records Common to different Branches3.8 How Records are held
Part 4. Functions and Records - Aireacht 4.1 Minister's Office4.2 Secretary-General's Office4.3 Planning Unit4.4 Personnel Branch4.5 Facilities Management4.6 Accounts Branch4.7 Internal Audit Unit4.8 Corporate Development Section and Staff Development Unit
Part 5. Functions and Records - Social Welfare Services 5.1 Director-General's Office5.2 Management Services Unit5.3 Civil Registration Service (GRO)5.4 Medical Review and Assessment Section5.5 Unemployment Schemes5.6 Employment Support Services (ESS)5.7 Labour Market Unit5.8 Money Advice and Budgeting Service5.9 Habitual Residence Condition (HRC) Section5.10 Control Division5.11 Longford Social Welfare Services Office5.12 Short-Term Illness Schemes5.13 Service Delivery Model (SDM)5.14 Client Identity Services and REACH5.15 Insurability and PRSI Refunds5.16 Client Eligibility, Self Employment and International Services5.17 Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit5.18 Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office5.19 Pension Services Office (PSO)5.20 Decisions Advisory Office and FOI Unit5.21 Regional Offices5.22 Regional Director's Office5.23 Information Systems Division (ISD)5.24 Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Section5.25 Information Services5.26 Customer Services5.27 Payment Delivery Services5.28 Respite Care Grant
Appendix 1 Structure of the Aireacht and the Social Welfare Services, showing names of Heads of Branches and their functions.
Appendix 2 Local Social Welfare Information Centres
Appendix 3 Information Leaflets
Appendix 4 FOI Officers in the Department
Appendix 5 Glossary of Terms