European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2011 give legal rights to those seeking to access information on the environment from public authorities.
Under these regulations, information relating to the environment held by, or for, a public authority must be made available on request, subject to certain exceptions.
The AIE regulations also oblige public authorities to be proactive in disseminating environmental information to the public.
The AIE Regulations:
- Provide a definition of environmental information;
- Outline the manner in which requests for information may be submitted to public authorities;
- The manner in which public authorities are required to deal with requests e.g. timeframes for response; and,
- Provide for a formal appeals procedure in the event that a person is unhappy with a decision on their request.
AIE offices/bodies under the aegis of this Department
There are a number of offices/bodies under the aegis of this Department which are separate entities for the purpose of AIE and they may hold records of interest to you.
Applications under AIE
Applications for Access to Information on the Environment held by this Department can either be submitted electronically to AIE@dbei.gov.ie or made in writing to:
Freedom of Information Unit,
Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation,
23 Kildare Street,
Compiling your application
When making a request for information under the Access to Information on the Environment Regulations you are required to:
- state that the application is being made under the AIE Regulations;
- provide your contact details;
- state, in terms that are as specific as possible, the environmental information required; and,
- specify the form and manner of access desired.
Grounds for refusing information
There are a number of grounds on which a public authority can refuse information; these include when a body is acting in a legislative or judicial capacity (Article 3(2) of the AIE Regulations) and both mandatory (Article 8) and discretionary (Article 9) grounds for refusing information. When making a decision on whether to release information, a public body is required to consider the provisions in Article 10.
AIE requests received
The number of AIE requests received by the Department and its agencies since 2015.
Further general information on the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations including background information on the legislation, useful publications and links to other relevant bodies is available from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.