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Introduction


The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2014 was enacted on 14 October, 2014. Under the 2014 Act, FOI was extended to a range of public bodies including the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner (ORAC). While ORAC comes under the 2014 Act with effect from 14 April 2015, only records created by ORAC, on or after 14 October 2014, are subject to FOI. However, all records relating to personal information held by ORAC, irrespective of when they were created, come within the scope of the Act subject to certain exemptions therein.

The FOI Act 2014 establishes a legal right for each person to:
  • access information held by public bodies,
  • have official information relating to himself/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading,
  • obtain an explanation for the reasons for decisions affecting them.

The 2014 Act asserts the right of members of the public to obtain access to official information to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy of individuals.

In the main, ORAC holds a lot of personal information in relation to applicants who use the services of this Office, access to which is already provided on a comprehensive basis to the applicants concerned. Access by third parties to such information is strictly protected by both the FOI Act 2014 and by data protection legislation.

This website makes a range of information about ORAC available within a publication scheme.

Request for Information
If you wish to make a request for information under FOI, you should complete an application form and e-mail to oracfoi@orac.ie or post it to the Customer Service Centre (FOI Unit), Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, Timberlay House, 79-83 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2.

Applications for information must be made in writing indicating that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act, 2014. If information is desired in a particular form (such as a photocopy, computer disk, etc.) this should also be specified. Requests should be as specific as possible to assist with identification of the records being sought.

Requests will be acknowledged within 10 working days of receipt giving, inter alia, contact details of the person handling the request. A final decision on your request will be sent to you within 20 working days of receipt. If difficulty is experienced in identifying the records required, the staff of the CSC (FOI Unit) will assist in the formulation of the request. The CSC (FOI Unit) may be contacted at oracfoi@orac.ie or (01) 602 8170/8168/8091.

Fees and Charges
Requests for personal information under FOI are free. Requests for personal information include information relating to yourself, your children or to deceased persons. Information concerning children requires the permission of both parents in order for the information to be released. We will need to verify your information in advance.

There may be a charge for requests for non-personal information. Information on fees and charges for requests for information under FOI can be found on page 8 of our Information Guide.

Information we hold
The functions of ORAC are

  • the investigation of applications from those who seek a declaration for refugee status and the issue of an appropriate recommendation to the Minister for Justice and Equality on such applications,
  • the investigation of applications by refugees to allow family members to enter and reside in the State and,
  • the investigation of applications for subsidiary protection and the issue of an appropriate recommendation to the Minister for Justice and Equality on such applications.

ORAC holds personal records relating to our customers applications. When a negative recommendation is made, ORAC provides our customers and their legal representatives with a copy of the application file.

Information relating to how we operate as an organisation is published on our web site. We publish Monthly Statistics, Annual Reports, Statements of Strategy, Customer Service Action Plans and customer survey results. This is how we make most of our information available to the public. Click here for a list of publications.

What if I am not satisfied with the decision on my FOI request?
You may appeal any decision issued by this Office by writing to the Customer Service Centre (FOI Unit), Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, 79-83, Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2 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 you.

You should normally make your appeal within 4 weeks from the date of the decision.The appeal will involve a complete reconsideration of the matter by a more senior member of staff of the Office and a decision will be notified to you within 3 weeks.

What if I am not satisfied with the decision on internal review?
You may appeal a 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,
Dublin 2.
Tel: +353 (1) 639 5689
Locall: 1890 25 32 38
Fax: +353 (1) 639 5674
E-mail: info@oic.ie


A fee of €50 (€15 for medical card holders) may apply for such an application. Again, there is no fee for appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning only personal information relating to oneself or in relation to a decision to impose a fee or deposit.

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