Guide to Functions and Records - Section 15 of the Freedom of Information Act

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Freedom of Information - Section 15 Reference Book Index

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:

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 Acts
1.2 Routinely Available Information
1.3 Access to Information under the Acts
1.4 Appointment of FOI Officers in DSP
1.5 Making an FOI equest
1.6 Right of Appeal
1.7 Internal Review
1.8 Review by the Commissioner
1.9 Confidentiality of Information
1.10 Fees

Part 2. Summary of Scheme Guidelines
2.1 Publication of Guidelines under Section 16
2.2 Summary of Contents
2.3 How to access Guidelines
2.4 List of Guidelines

Part 3. Overview of Department of Social Protection
3.1 Description & Function
3.2 Mission Statement and Values
3.3 High-Level Goals
3.4 Structure & Organisation of Department
3.5 Agencies
3.6 Structural Breakdown by Branch
3.7 Records Common to different Branches
3.8 How Records are held

Part 4. Functions and Records - Aireacht
4.1 Minister's Office
4.2 Secretary-General's Office
4.3 Planning Unit
4.4 Personnel Branch
4.5 Facilities Management
4.6 Accounts Branch
4.7 Internal Audit Unit
4.8 Corporate Development Section and Staff Development Unit

Part 5. Functions and Records - Social Welfare Services
5.1 Director-General's Office
5.2 Management Services Unit
5.3 Civil Registration Service (GRO)
5.4 Medical Review and Assessment Section
5.5 Unemployment Schemes
5.6 Employment Support Services (ESS)
5.7 Labour Market Unit
5.8 Money Advice and Budgeting Service
5.9 Habitual Residence Condition (HRC) Section
5.10 Control Division
5.11 Longford Social Welfare Services Office
5.12 Short-Term Illness Schemes
5.13 Service Delivery Model (SDM)
5.14 Client Identity Services and REACH
5.15 Insurability and PRSI Refunds
5.16 Client Eligibility, Self Employment and International Services
5.17 Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit
5.18 Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office
5.19 Pension Services Office (PSO)
5.20 Decisions Advisory Office and FOI Unit
5.21 Regional Offices
5.22 Regional Director's Office
5.23 Information Systems Division (ISD)
5.24 Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Section
5.25 Information Services
5.26 Customer Services
5.27 Payment Delivery Services
5.28 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

Last modified:03/01/2012

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