Make a Request

One of the aims of the Freedom of Information Act is that public authorities should be clear and proactive about the information they will make public. Central to this is the preparation of a publication scheme (a list of classes of information which the Department makes, or intends to make, routinely available). Please check published information for the information you require.
If the information you require is not listed there please make a request .

How to make a request

Your request for information under the Freedom of Information Act must be made in writing including email.  Please ensure that you:
  • Print your name and address clearly
  • State clearly the information you require
Sometimes we may need to contact you to clarify exactly what information you require.  It will help us process your request more quickly if you are specific about want you want and provide a telephone number on which we can contact you if necessary.
Send your request to :
Departmental Information Manager,  FOI Unit, DHSSPS, Annexe 3, Castle Buildings, Stormont, Belfast BT4 3SQ
Tel: 028 90 522353

How long does it take to get information?

Once a request for information has been received , the Department has 20 working days in which to respond – this time can be extended if
  • A qualified exemption applies and we need to consider the public interest
  • A fee applies and we are waiting for you to pay the fee

Is there a cost for getting information?

Responses to enquiries that cost the Department less than £600 to process (ie locating, retrieving and extracting the information) will normally be provided free of charge.
The Department has the right to refuse a response to a request that is estimated to cost more than £600 to respect of search and retrieval of the information. However, the Department may choose to process the request if the cost is greater than £600 and if we do, you may be charged the costs in full.  In this case, we will send you a fees notice and you can decide whether you want us to proceed.
The Department may impose a charge on any request in relation to disbursements. Disbursements include printing, photocopying and postage charges.

Contact us

Write to us

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Information Office
Castle Buildings

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The main switchboard telephone number is 028 90520500.
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