Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (338)

Derek Keating


338. Deputy Derek Keating asked the Minister for Education and Skills under the practice in his Department of replying to freedom of information questions, if he will outline the material that is made available when such a request is received; if it is factual to say that only written correspondence to his Department is made available; if he keeps a diary of telephone calls, conversations and representations he receives from Deputies orally or from his officials; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32021/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The FOI Acts 1997 and 2003 establish the statutory right to access records held by public bodies covered by the Act. For the purposes of the Act a record is described as "including any memorandum, book, plan, map, drawing, diagram, pictorial or graphic work or other document, any photograph, film or recording (whether of sound or images or both), any form in which data (within the meaning of the Data Protection Act, 1988 ) are held, any other form (including machine-readable form) or thing in which information is held or stored manually, mechanically or electronically and anything that is a part or a copy, in any form, of any of the foregoing or is a combination of two or more of the foregoing". Subject to the provisions of the Acts, if the information sought is contained in a record held by my Department, and falls within the definition outlined above, a member of the public has a right of access to this record.