In accordance with section 8 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, the following is OCEI's "FOI Publication Scheme".
The primary function of the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information is to review decisions made by public authorities under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2014 (the AIE Regulations) .
The Office of Commissioner for Environmental Information (the Office) was established by article 12(1) of the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007.
The office holder is the Commissioner for Environmental Information (the Commissioner). The Commissioner holds office by virtue of article 12(2) of the AIE Regulations, which provides that the holder of the Office of Information Commissioner (OIC) is also the holder of the Office of Commissioner for Environmental Information.
The statutory role of the Office is set out in the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2014. (Please read the Legislative Framework) These Regulations give effect in Ireland to European Union Directive 2003/4/EC, which guarantees the right to access environmental information held by or for public authorities. The Office is responsible for the efficient operation of the independent appeals mechanism provided by the AIE Regulations.
In relation to Freedom of Information (FOI) responsibilities, the Office is a partially excluded body for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI Act) (as provided in Schedule 1, section 6, Part 1of that Act).
In the performance of its functions under the AIE Regulations, the Office is excluded from being subject to the FOI Act “other than insofar as it relates to records concerning the general administration of those functions”.
This means that records held by the Office which relate to specific appeals (as opposed to records concerning the general administration of the Office’s functions) are not required by law to be made available to the public.
In accordance with the AIE Regulations, the Commissioner’s functions are:
The range of records held in the Office falls within the following broad categories (some of which may overlap):
Note: Personnel records, accounts records, assets register, and media coverage records are held by the Office of the Ombudsman on behalf of The Office.
The Commissioner is independent in the performance of his functions. The senior management team consists of the Commissioner, Director General and Senior Investigator.
This Office is committed to best practice structures, processes and systems that support the successful operation of duties in an ethical, accountable, transparent and effective manner. Details of the Office's governance arrangements can be found in its Corporate Governance Framework document, which sets out the systems, principles and processes by which the Office is directed and controlled.
Please read the Office’s Policies.
The Office contributes to, and is guided by, the wider Strategy Statement of the Office of the Ombudsman (within which the Office is located).
The Office publishes annual reports. These are available at
Article 12(10) of the AIE Regulations provides that the Commissioner shall be assisted by the staff of the OIC and by such other resources as may, from time to time, be available to that office. The structure of the Office consists of senior management and dedicated OCEI investigators. Support is provided by the Support Unit of the Office of the Information Commissioner.
Director General: Elaine Cassidy
Senior Investigator: Deirdre McGoldrick, Principal Officer
Investigators: 4 Assistant Principal Officers
Support Staff: The staff of the Support Unit of the Office of the Information Commissioner (which consists of one Higher Executive Officer, two Executive Officers and three Clerical Officers) provides assistance to the Office, most notably by carrying out the initial processing of newly received appeals (for validation and formal acceptance).
The Commissioner also serves as the Ombudsman and as the Information Commissioner. He is also an ex officio member of the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Commission for Public Service Appointments, the Referendum Commission and the Constituency Commission. His salary is equivalent to that of a Secretary General III in the Civil Service.
Similarly, the Director General acts as for the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the Information Commissioner. The salary is that of an Assistant Secretary in the Civil Service.
The Senior Investigator also serves the Office of the Information Commissioner.
The salary scales of civil servants may be found in the circulars available at the following links:
Salaries from Secretary General to Clerical Officer
The Office is located with the Office of the Ombudsman at 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773.
Requests for information may be directed to any of the following, as appropriate
Post: OCEI, 6 Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2, D02 W773.
Phone: +353-1-639 5689 (please say that your call relates to OCEI and ask to speak to the Support Unit)
Opening Hours: 9.15 am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Contact David Nutley, Communications, Office of the Ombudsman
Phone: 01 639 5610 or 086 023 1420
The Customer Service Charter sets out our commitments and the service standards you can expect from us. You can find this information here.
The staff of the Office are civil servants in the Civil Service of the State and are therefore bound by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.
The Office acts as an appeal body for those dissatisfied with the response of public authorities to requests for environmental information.
Appeals can be made online using our website at "Make an Appeal". Alternatively, appeals can be delivered by post to our postal address, or by email to email@example.com. Please note that appeals can only be accepted when they are made in accordance with the eligibility and procedural requirements set out in the AIE Regulations.
As a general rule, appeals must be initiated not later than one month after receipt of the public authority’s internal review decision, or, where no decision is notified, not later than one month after such a decision was required to be notified to the applicant.
The Commissioner has discretion to extend the time for initiating an appeal when he is satisfied that, in the circumstances of the case, it is reasonable to do so.
Article 15(3) of the AIE Regulations provides that (subject to sub-article (4)) a fee of €50 shall be charged for making an appeal to the Commissioner.
Sub-article (4) provides that the fee shall be €15 in the case of the holder of a medical card, or the dependent of a holder of a medical card, or a person other than the applicant who would be incriminated by the disclosure of the environmental information concerned.
Article 15(5) provides that the Commissioner may waive or refund fees in certain circumstances.
Article 13 provides for a right of appeal to the High Court on a point of law arising from a decision by the Commissioner. Such an appeal may be made by a party to the appeal (that is, a party to the appeal to OCEI which led to the Commissioner’s decision) or by any other person affected by the decision. An appeal must be initiated not later than 2 months after notice of the decision was given to the person taking the appeal.
Vote 19 (Office of the Ombudsman) funds the activities of an organisation comprising the Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission for Public Service Appointments (Programme A); Standards in Public Office Commission, including the Regulation of Lobbying function (Programme B); and, the Office of the Information Commissioner and the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information (Programme C).
These offices carry out separate and distinct statutory functions: nonetheless they function as a single amalgamated agency under one Vote and one Accounting Officer and corporate management board which manages the organisation while simultaneously protecting and preserving the statutory independence and functions of each of the constituent parts. Each office has its own complement of staff but the finance, human resources, accommodation and information technology functions are shared between all offices.
At the end of each financial year, each department is required to prepare an account known as the Appropriation Account. The Appropriation Account provides details of the outturn for the year against the amount provided by Dail Eireann. The 2019 Appropriation Account can be accessed here.
Revised Estimates are a detailed version of Budget Day Estimates and include information on spending within individual programmes along with the overall financial allocation for our Office. Revised Estimates also include key high level output metrics, context and impact indicators. These provide information on our expenditure and the impact the expenditure is having. The Revised Estimates for the Office of the Ombudsman can be viewed here.
Public procurement refers to the process by which public bodies purchase works, goods or services from suppliers which they have selected for this purpose. It ranges from the purchase of routine goods or services to large scale contracts for infrastructural projects and involves a wide and diverse range of contracting authorities.
The Procurement Policy of the Office can be found here.
The following are links to guidance documents for suppliers:
There is a commitment in the Public Service Reform Plan that all purchase orders for €20k or over shall be published online. The Office publishes this information on a quarterly basis. View our PO's over €20,000 (Excel file)
Under the terms of these Regulations the energy consumption and performance of all public sector organisations must be reported annually. The secretariat to the Standards in Public Office Commission, the Office of the Information Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information and the Commission for Public Service Appointments is provided by the Office of the Ombudsman at its offices in 6 Earlsford Terrace, Dublin 2. This report itemises energy usage across the whole office.
A list of all non-personal FOI requests received by the Office since 1st January 2018 can be viewed here:
Under the FOI Act, any person is entitled to apply for access to information which is not otherwise publicly available. In general, a person has a right of:
The FOI Act does not cover all records held by the Office. The Office is a partially excluded body for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI Act) (as provided in Schedule 1, section 6, Part 1of that Act). This means that records held by the Office which relate to specific appeals (as opposed to records concerning the general administration of the Office’s functions) are not required by law to be made available to the public.
FOI requests relating to records of the Office should be made to:
FOI Liaison Officer
Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information
6 Earlsfort Terrace
Telephone: +353-1-639 5773, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Requests should be made in writing and should specify that they are being made under the FOI Act. The form in which the records are sought – e.g. photocopies/disk – should be stated in the request. To allow identification of the records sought, requesters should describe the records in as much detail as possible. If possible, a contact number which can be used during office hours should be provided for the purpose of clarifying the details of an FOI request. The staff of the Office will assist in the formulation of an FOI request, if necessary.
The Office will acknowledge a request under the FOI Act within two weeks. This will include notification that, in the event that the requester is not satisfied with the FOI decision issued, there is a right to request an internal review of the decision. The decision will issue within four weeks.
The FOI Act provides for a right to internal review of decisions of public bodies. An internal review may be requested where an FOI request has been refused or partially granted or where access has been deferred. An internal review can also be requested where the form of access or the level of fees charged is disputed. Refusal of an FOI request is deemed to have occurred where a decision has not issued within four weeks of receipt of the FOI request.
Requests for internal review of decisions of the Office should be made, in writing, to:
FOI Liaison Officer
Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information
6 Earlsfort Terrace
Telephone: +353-1-639 5773, Email: email@example.com
who will ensure that the review is carried out by an official at a higher level than the official who made the original FOI decision. Such a request should be made within four weeks of the original decision. The decision following internal review must issue within three weeks of its receipt.
Information published by the Office
Annual reports are available at
News, media releases, speeches and articles are also published from time to time on the Office’s website and can be found here.
The Office also publishes decisions made by the Commissioner on its website at Decisions and court judgements on appeals made against the Commissioner’s decisions at Appeals to the Courts.
Most requests for information from the Office are requests for information about how to make an appeal. Persons making such requests are assisted by Support Unit staff and directed (if appropriate) to where they may obtain further information on the Office’s website at "Make an Appeal".
A smaller number of requests are for information on how appeals are processed. Once again, persons making such requests are assisted and directed (if appropriate) to where they may obtain further information in the Procedures Manual on the Office’s website at OCEI Procedures Manual.
The Office maintains the website. It provides information on the following:
The website also provides a facility for appealing to the Office and paying the appeal-fee online.
Updated September 2022