Better Start is hosted by Pobal. For this reason we ask that FOI requests be directed through Pobal channels using the details outlined below.
Due to disruption caused by COVID-19, please correspond with us by email if possible. You can submit FOI requests by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The FOI Act 2014 provides that every person has the following legal rights:
The Act requires public bodies to respond to requests from the public for information they hold. In most cases, public bodies must give their decision on a request within 4 weeks of receiving it. A week is defined in the Act to mean 5 consecutive weekdays excluding Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.
The request will be considered in accordance with the Act having regard to the exemptions provided for which include:
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing or by email to Pobal’s FOI Unit:
You should send a request either, in writing or by email, to the
Freedom of Information Unit,
Better Start/ Pobal2nd Floor,
31-36 Upper Ormond Quay,
Your request should include the following:
There is no fee for making a request under Freedom of Information. It is very unlikely that any fees will be charged in respect of personal records, except where a large number of records are involved. In respect of non-personal requests, charges may be applied for the time spent finding records and for any reproduction costs incurred by Better Start/ Pobal in providing you with the material requested where the total costs exceeds €100. Where this minimum threshold (equivalent to five free hours) is exceeded, a rate of €20 per hour will be charged for the full amount of time spent.
Where the cost of search, retrieval and copying is greater than €700, the request may be refused unless the scope of the request is narrowed. Details of actual charges relating to your request will be notified to you in writing. Payment should be made by way of Electric Funds Transfer. Please contact the FOI Unit for bank details. A list of relevant fees is set out below:
*There is no charge if the records concerned contain only personal information relating to the applicant, unless there are a significant number of records.
*If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number, issuing Health Board name and your consent to the verification of these details with that HSE issuing authority.
You may appeal any FOI decision issued by Better Start / Pobal by emailing email@example.com or writing to the Freedom of Information Unit, Pobal HQ, 2nd Floor, Ormond Building, 31-36 Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7 D07 N5YH seeking an internal review of the matter. A fee of €30 (€10 for medical card holders) may apply for such an appeal. There is no fee for internal review applications concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.
You may appeal the decision within six months by writing to the Office of The Information Commissioner. If you make an appeal the Information Commissioner will fully investigate and consider the matter and issue a fresh decision. All appeals should be addressed to:
The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street,
Tel: +353 (1) 6395689
Section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 requires FOI bodies to prepare and publish as much information as possible in an open and accessible manner on a routine basis outside of FOI, having regard to the principles of openness, transparency and accountability as set out in Sections 8(5) and 11(3) of the Act.
You can access our FOI Publication Scheme here.
Pobal administer and manage Government and EU funding to address disadvantage and support social inclusion.
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