Freedom of Information

The Freedom of Information Act 2014 was signed into law on 14th October 2014. The broad purpose of the Freedom of Information Act is to confer rights on members of the public to obtain access to information held by public bodies to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy.

- Freedom of Information Act, 2014
- Freedom of Information (Amendment) Act, 2003
- Freedom of Information Act, 1997
 

Freedom of Information

Introduction

The Freedom of Information Act asserts the right of any member of the public to obtain access to information "to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy" in the College's records.  This resulted in the establishment of three new legal rights for individuals:

a general right of access to information held in records; a right to amend information relating to him/her that is found to be incomplete, incorrect or misleading; a right to obtain reasons for decisions that have materially affected him/her
 

Routinely Available Information

The College currently makes information routinely available to the public in relation to its functions, activities and schemes. Such information will continue to be available informally without the need to use the FOI Act. And information is also available on the College's website at http://www.ncad.ie. This manual highlights, in relation to each of the College's activities where information of this nature is available.

The FOI Act is designed to allow public access to information held by public bodies which is NOT routinely available through other sources. Access to information under this Act is subject to certain exemptions and involves specific procedures and time limits. This manual provides a guide to the structure of the College so as to help you access information under the FOI Act.
 

How to Get Information

Applications under the FOI Act

Under the FOI Act anyone is entitled to apply for access to information not otherwise publicly available. Each person has a right to:

  • access to records held by the College;
  • correction of personal information relating to oneself held by the College where it is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading;
  • access to reasons for decisions made by the College directly affecting oneself.

The following records come within the scope of the Act

  • all records relating to personal information held by the College irrespective of when created;
  • all other records created from commencement date, i.e. 21 April 1998;
  • any other records necessary to the understanding of current records;
  • personnel records of serving staff created from 21 April 1995 and those created prior to that date where being used or proposed to be used in a way which adversely affects or may affect the person involved.

The College is obliged to respond to a request for information under this Act within four weeks.

Applications for information under the FOIA should be addressed to:

Damian Downes
Freedom of Information Officer
National College of Art and Design
100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
email: downesd@ncad.ie

Applications should be in writing and should indicate that the information is sought under the Freedom of Information Act. If information is desired in a particular format this should be mentioned in your application. Please give as much detail as possible to enable the staff of the College to identify the record. If you have difficulty in identifying the precise record which you require, a Freedom of Information Officer will be happy to assist you in preparing your request.

Rights of Review and Appeal

The Act sets out a serious of exemptions to protect sensitive information where its disclosure may damage key interests of the State or third parties. Where the College invokes these provisions to withhold information, the decision may be appealed. Decisions in relation to deferral of access, charges, forms of access, etc., may also be the subject of appeal. Details of the appeals mechanism are as follows.

Internal Review

You may seek internal review of the initial decision that was carried out by an official at a higher level if:

(a) you are dissatisfied with the initial response received, i.e. refusal of information, form of access, charges, etc., or
(b) you have not received a reply within four weeks of your initial application. This is deemed to be a refusal of your request and allows you to proceed to internal review.

Requests for internal review should be submitted in writing to:
Damian Downes
Freedom of Information Officer
National College of Art and Design
100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8
email: downesd@ncad.ie

Such a request for internal review must be submitted within four weeks of the initial decision. The College must complete the review within three weeks. Internal review must normally be completed before an appeal may be made to the Information Commissioner.

Review by the Commissioner

Following completion of internal review, you may seek independent review of the decision from the Information Commissioner. Also, if you have not received a reply to application for internal review within three weeks, this is deemed to be refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Commissioner.

Appeals in writing may be made directly to the Information Commissioner at the following address:

Office of the Information Commissioner, 18 Lr Leeson Street, Dublin 2,
Phone: (01) 6395689, Lo-call: 1890 253238, Fax: (01) 639 5674, Email: info@oic.ie 

Fees

Fees may be charged as follows:

In respect of personal records, fees in respect of the cost of copying the records requests will not apply, save where a large number of records are involved - in respect of other (non-personal) information fees may be charged in respect of the time spent in officially locating and copying records. No charges may apply in respect of the time spent by public bodies in considering requests.

  • Section 47 of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997, provides for fees. Fees are currently set as follows in accordance with Statutory Instruments Nos. 139 of 1998 and 13 of 1997:
  • €17.14 per hour - search and retrieval
  • €0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
  • €10.16 for a CD Rom

A deposit may be payable where the total fee is likely to exceed IR£40.00 (€50.8). In these circumstances the College will, if requested, assist you to amend the request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the deposit.

Charges may be waived in the following circumstances:

  • where the cost of collecting and accounting for the fee would exceed the amount of the fee;
  • where the information would be of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance; or,
  • in the case of personal information where such charges would not be reasonable having regard to the means of the requester.
     

Mission Statement

The College's mission statement is to provide educational excellence through undergraduate, postgraduate and life-long learning programmes and research facilities for students to realise their individual creative potential to learn to design responsibly and to seek to improve the quality of life globally.

The College fulfils its mission by ensuring the highest-quality education in the fine arts, design and art education, and preparing students in the broader community to be creative and responsive to the needs of a global society.

Structure and Organisation

Introduction

This section provides a summary of the structure and organisation of the College. The NCAD has four schools; Design, Education, Fine Art and Visual Culture.  NCAD has over 950 full time students and a further 600 students who take award and non-award bearing part-time classes. The College is now a Recognised College of UCD.

An Bord

Membership of An Bord 2015 - 2018

Professor Niamh Brennan, Chairman
Mary Dorgan
Karen Furlong
Bernard Hanratty, Acting Director
Ian Power
Professor Mark Rogers
Blaise Smith
Rachel Tuffy, Academic Staff Representative
Oliver Whelan, Academic Staff Representative
Ross Golden Bannon, Evening Student Representative
Grainne Murphy, Day Student Representative

Mark Carroll, Senior Attendant, Non-Academic Staff Observer


Membership of Audit and Risk Committee
Karen Furlong, Chair
Mary Dorgan
Ian Power
Sean Quigley, Courts Service (non-Board member – Financial Expert)
 

Academic Committees

The academic structure includes an academic council, school boards, departmental boards, with student as well as staff representation.

The Terms of Reference for Academic Council are as follows:

1. The Academic Council shall assist An Bórd in the planning, co-ordination, development and overseeing of the educational work of the College.

2. Without prejudice to (1) above, Academic Council shall have the following particular functions:

(a) to recommend the design, development and implementation of appropriate programmes of study for consideration and approval,

(b) to make recommendations to An Bórd for the establishment of appropriate structures to implement the programmes of study referred to in paragraph (a) of this sub-section,

(c) to make recommendations to An Bórd on programmes for the development of research,

(d) to make recommendations to An Bórd for the selection, admission, retention and exclusion of students generally,

(e) to make, subject to the approval of An Bórd, and to implement, the academic regulations of the College,

(f) to propose to An Bórd the form of regulations to be made by An Bórd for the conduct of examinations, and for the evaluation of academic progress,

(g) to make recommendations to An Bórd for the award of fellowships, scholarships, bursaries, prizes or other awards,

(h) to make general arrangements for tutorial or other academic counselling,

(i) to exercise any other functions, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, which may be delegated to it by An Bórd, and,

(j) to implement any regulations which may be made by An Bórd concerning any of the matters aforesaid.

3. The Academic Council, with the approval of An Bórd, may:

(a) establish such and so many committees, consisting either wholly or partly of persons who are not members of the College, as it thinks proper to assist the Academic Council in the performance of its functions under the Act, and

(b) determine, subject to the provisions of the Act, the functions of any committee established under paragraph (a) of this sub-section.

4. The acts of a committee established under sub-section (3)(a) of this section shall be subject to confirmation by An Bórd unless An Bórd dispenses with the necessity for such confirmation.

5. Subject to the provisions of the Act and to the directions of An Bórd, the Academic Council may regulate its own procedure.

6. The Head of Academic Affairs will chair meetings of Academic Council.

Other Committees under the Academic Structure:

School Boards (Education, Design, Fine Art, Visual Culture).

These boards discuss, formulate and approve academic policy of the Schools, supervise its implementation and advise Academic Council. In addition, the Department of First Year Core Studies and the Centre for Continuing Education and Educational in Art and Design (CEAD) also have regular meetings which advise Academic Council.

Examination Boards:

This information is currently being updated (1/2/2017)

Examination Appeals Committee:

This committee, with representation from An Bórd, Academic Council, staff and student bodies, hears and decides on appeals made to it by students against the results of examinations.

Standing Committee on Postgraduate Studies:

This information is currently being updated (1/2/2017)

Non-Academic:

Informal Senior Management group meets regularly (usually once monthly) during term.

Exhibitions Committee to deal mainly with the end-of-year exhibitions.
The Director chairs these meetings.