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Fees and exemptions

Are there any fees?

In the majority of cases there will not be a charge.

The FOI Act makes provision for public authorities to charge fees in accordance with the Fees Regulations (which are laid before parliament).

There may be cases where a request for information is so complex that it would exceed the cost threshold. In these instances you will be informed of the options available (such as refining your question so that it can be dealt with for free).

Can all information be released?

In some cases we will not be able to answer all or part of your request because the Department of Justice does not hold the information.

In most cases information that the Department of Justice holds can be released but the FOI Act does include a number of exemptions covering areas such as national security and information provided in confidence. If the Department of Justice decides to apply an exemption you will be kept informed.

The supply of information under the Freedom of Information Act does not give the recipient or organisation that receives it the automatic right to re-use it in any way that would infringe copyright. This includes, for example, making multiple copies, publishing and issuing copies to the public.

What about personal data?

Requests for personal data are still covered by the Data Protection Act (1998). If you would like a permanent copy of the data which you believe the Department of Justice holds on you then a subject access request can be made by writing to:

Access to Information Team
Department of Justice
Annex A
Dundonald House
Stormont Estate
Belfast 4

You will need to provide a cheque for £10 (made payable to the Department of Justice) and provide adequate identification before your request is processed. Once this has been received we will provide a response within 40 calendar days.