FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 1997

Amendment of records relating to personal information.

17

17. (1) Where personal information in a record held by a public body is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, the head of the body shall, on application to him or her in that behalf, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, by the individual to whom the information relates, amend the record—

(i) by altering it so as to make the information complete or correct or not misleading, as may be appropriate,

(ii) by adding to the record a statement specifying the respects in which the body is satisfied that the information is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, as may be appropriate, or

(iii) by deleting the information from it.

(2) An application under subsection (1) shall, in so far as is practicable—

( a) specify the record concerned and the amendment required, and

( b) include appropriate information in support of the application.

(3) The head concerned shall, as soon as may be, but not later than 4 weeks, after the receipt by him or her of an application under subsection (1), decide whether to grant or refuse to grant the application and shall cause notice, in writing or in such other form as may be determined, of his or her decision and, if the decision is to grant it, of the manner of such grant to be given to the person concerned.

(4) ( a) If the grant of an application under subsection (1) is refused, the head concerned shall—

(i) attach to the record concerned the application or a copy of it or, if that is not practicable, a notation indicating that the application has been made, and

(ii) include in the notification under subsection (3) particulars of—

(I) rights of review and appeal under this Act in relation to the decision to refuse to grant the application, and

(II) the procedure governing the exercise of those rights and any time limits governing such exercise.

( b) Paragraph (a)(i) does not apply in relation to a case in which the head concerned is of opinion that the application concerned is defamatory or the alterations or additions to which it relates to the record concerned would be unnecessarily voluminous.

(5) Where a record is amended pursuant to this section, the public body concerned shall take all reasonable steps to notify of the amendment—

( a) any person to whom access to the record was granted under this Act, and

( b) any other public body to whom a copy of the record was given,

during the period of one year ending on the date on which the amendment was effected.

F27 [ (6) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may provide by regulations for the making of an application under that subsection

( a ) by the parent or guardian of an individual referred to in that subsection, if the individual belongs to a class specified in the regulations, or

( b ) in a case where such an individual is dead, by a member of a class specified in the regulations. ]

Annotations:

Amendments:

F27

Inserted (11.4.2003) by Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act 2003 (9/2003), s. 12, commenced on enactment.

Modifications (not altering text):

C26

Application extended (23.09.2009) by Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Section 17(6)) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 385 of 2009), reg. 4.

4. (1) Notwithstanding section 28(1), an application under section 17 in relation to a record that includes personal information that is incomplete, incorrect or misleading, may, subject to the other provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 1997, be made where:

(a) the applicant is a parent or guardian of the individual ("the individual") to whom the information in the record concerned relates and the individual belongs to one of the following classes of individual:

(i) individuals who, on the date of the application, have not attained full age (within the meaning of the Age of Majority Act 1985 (No. 2 of 1985)), or

(ii) individuals who, on the date aforesaid, have attained full age (within the meaning aforesaid), and have a mental condition, or a mental incapacity, or a severe physical disability, the incidence and nature of which is certified by a registered medical practitioner (within the meaning of the Medical Practitioners Act 1978 (No. 4 of 1978)) and who, by reason thereof, are incapable of exercising their rights under the Freedom of Information Act 1997,

and the individual is an individual as respects whom the granting of the application would, in the opinion of the head concerned, having regard to all the circumstances and to any guidelines drawn up and published by the Minister, be in his or her best interests, or

(b) the individual (“the individual”) to whom the information in the record concerned relates is dead and the applicant belongs to one of the following classes of applicant:

(i) a personal representative of the individual acting in due course of administration of his or her estate or any person acting with the consent of a personal representative so acting,

(ii) a person on whom a function is conferred by law in relation to the individual or his or her estate acting in the course of the performance of the function, and

(iii) the spouse or the next of kin of the individual where in the opinion of the head, having regard to all the circumstances and to any relevant guidelines published by the Minister, the public interest, including the public interest in the confidentiality of personal information, would on balance be better served by granting than by refusing to grant the request.

(2) In this Regulation “spouse” includes:

(a) a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State or who is living apart from his or her wife or husband pursuant to a deed of separation, and

(b) a man or woman who was not married to but cohabited as husband or wife, as the case may be, with the deceased individual,

and

“next of kin” is the person or persons standing nearest in blood relationship to the individual in accordance with section 71(2) of the Succession Act, 1965.

C27

Application extended (22.12.1998) by Freedom of Information Act, 1997 (Section 17) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 518 of 1998), regs. 4, 5 and 6.

4. A head shall cause the receipt by him or her of an application under section 17 to be notified to the applicant in the manner specified in section 7(2).

5. Where a public body receives either —

( a) an application which purports to be an application under section 17 but which is not in the proper form, or

( b) an application which does not purport to be an application under section 17 but which applies for the amendment of personal information which amendment can be effected only by way of an application under section 17,

the head shall assist, or offer to assist, the individual in the preparation of an application under that section.

6. In the case of a decision to refuse to grant an application under section 17 the notice under subsection (3) of that section in relation to the decision shall comply with section 8(2)(d).

Editorial Notes:

E43

Power pursuant to section exercised (23.09.2009) by Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Section 17(6)) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 385 of 2009). See C-note above.

E44

Provision for application under section made (22.12.1998) by Freedom of Information Act, 1997 (Section 17) Regulations 1998 (S.I. No. 518 of 1998).

E45

Previous affecting provision: Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Section 17(6)) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 265 of 2003); revoked (23.09.2009) by Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Section 17(6)) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No. 385 of 2009).