I propose to take Questions Nos. 6 and 7 together.
A total of 187 freedom of information requests were received in my Department during 2000. A further 65 applications were received in January and February 2001, making a total of 252 applications received in the 14 months ended 28 February 2001. A decision was taken to grant the request in 100 cases and to part grant it in 46. Of the remaining 106 cases, 18 were refused, no records were held in respect of 46, 18 were transferred, 12 were withdrawn and 12 are ongoing.
I do not have an exact average of the time taken to process and adjudicate on applications. However, in most cases the statutory 28 days are required to process a request. The number of requests made by journalists in 2000 was 99 or 53% of total applications. Requests received by my Department are processed in accordance with the Act, the implementation of which in my Department is reviewed on an ongoing basis.