Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Access to information under FOI

Under the FOI Act, anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available. Each person has a right to:

  • all records created after the Act commenced on April 21st 1998;
  • all records created earlier if needed to understand records created after that date;
  • all records relating to personal information, irrespective of when they were created;
  • all records of staff created after April 21st 1995, or earlier if used adversely against a staff member.

An internal review and external appeals procedure support these rights. 

Definition of a record

Under the Act, a record includes any papers, memorandum, text or other document, any photograph, film or recording or any form in which data are held (whether manual, mechanical or electronic), and anything that is a part or a copy, or a combination of the foregoing.


Access to information under the Act is subject to certain exemptions. Should RCSI decide to withhold information under any of these exemption provisions, the specific exemption clause, which has been invoked, will be clearly explained. Certain types of information are exempt from release where their release would cause a harm or injury prejudicial to the functioning of the College or would be contrary to the public interest.

Examples of exempt records may include records relating to processes still in deliberation; records relating to the performance of certain investigative functions and negotiations; and the disclosure to third parties of personal information, commercially sensitive information or information obtained in confidence.