Delivering Ireland's New Children's Hospital

The functions of the NPHDB, as outlined in SI 246 of 2007. The functions of the NPHDB have been changed and the updated S.I is being redrafted and legislation prepared for government approval. The new function will focus on the planning, designing, building, furnishing and equipping of the hospital as set out below:

  • to plan, design, build, furnish and equip a national paediatric hospital (‘the new children’s hospital’) in accordance with a brief approved by the Health Services Executive (“the HSE”) with the prior consent of the Minister for Health, and subject to any subsequent variations to this brief as may be determined by the HSE in consultation with the NPHDB, and with the prior consent of the Minister;
  • do any other thing as is necessary for the performance of its functions.

NPHDB became subject to the Freedom of Information Act on 16th April 2015.

The Freedom of Information Act was introduced to:

  • Increase openness
  • Improve accountability
  • Increase public appreciation of issues involved in policy decisions
  • Give stronger public ownership and acceptance of decisions made
  • Permit people access to their records and allow them to amend records if incorrect

The Act sets out three new legal rights

  • A legal right for each person to access information held by public bodies
  • A legal right to have official information relating to him/herself amended where it its incomplete, incorrect or misleading
  • A legal right to be given reasons for decisions affecting them

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 gives each individual legal rights to access both personal and non-personal (corporate) records, to have personal records amended or deleted where the information is incorrect or misleading and the right to seek reasons for decisions that affect him/her.

These rights extend to your own personal records and in specific circumstances, to those of your children and deceased relatives. There are exemptions provided for in the Acts, this means that there are specific circumstances when the requested information will not be released, e.g. to protect confidentiality. If any of these exemptions are used to withhold information, the reasons will be clearly explained to you.

Access to NPHDB Services

Information relating to NPHDB can be accessed on our website along with the Freedom of Information Application form which should be completed and sent to foi@nph.ie.

A person may make a request for access to records.  This request must be in writing stating that the request is made under the Act and containing sufficient particulars in relation to the information concerned to enable the record to be identified.

A member of the public has the right to request information regarding acts of public bodies affecting them.  A Freedom of Information request is a very formal procedure and the public body is required to respond within four weeks.  The request will be considered in accordance with the Act having regard to the exemptions provided for which include:

  • Personal information (other than information relating to the person making the request)
  • Information supplied to the NPHDB in confidence
  • Law enforcement and public safety
  • Commercially sensitive information
  • Deliberations of public bodies
  • Functions and negotiations of public bodies

While the NPHDB will seek to protect the privacy of individuals and information supplied in confidence, in certain circumstances it may be in the public interest to release such information.

Fees

The following charges apply in relation to requests for records made under the FOI Act:

Search and Retrieval and Copying Fees

Fees are applied in respect of the time spent searching and retrieving records that are released to you and in respect of copying of such records. Section 27 of the Act sets out the elements of search and retrieval which may be charged for.

In most cases there are no search, retrieval and copying charges where the request relates to your own personal records. However, the Act does allow that in situations where the request relates to a significant number of records that a charge may be levied having regard to the circumstances of the requester.

Review and Appeal Fee

A charge applies to reviews and appeals to the Office of the Information Commissioner concerning access to non-personal records. There are reductions for medical card holders. This will be notified to you at the appropriate time by the relevant public body.

Administration of Services

On receipt of an FOI request the NPHDB will issue an acknowledgement of the request within 10 working days which will include the decision date which is 4 weeks (20 working days) from receipt of request.

If the request asks for documents that the NPHDB does not hold then we will take all reasonable steps to identify any other bodies that may hold the records and transfer the request to them.

An extension of time may be implemented if the request relates to such a number of records that compliance with the standard 4 week period is not reasonably possible or where the number of other FOI requests relating to the particular record(s) sought or the information corresponding to that to which the request relates, are such that compliance with the standard 4 week time period is not reasonably possible.

Right to Review or Appeal Rights

Requesters can appeal to the FOI body to re-examine their case. The requester must submit an application for internal review with 20 working days of notification of initial decision.  The FOI body must have the request reviewed by someone more senior than the person who made the original decision. The reviewer can change or agree with the original decision.  If the requester is still not satisfied with the decision they can submit an application for review to the Information Commissioner within 6 months of the review decision date by the FOI body.

Research Project in Respect of these Functions/Services

N/A