Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (106)

Barry Cowen

Question:

106. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of freedom of information requests made to his Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of requests fully denied by reason; the number of requests partially denied; the number of appeals made against denials; the number of such appeals upheld; the number of such appeals rejected; the number of requests that required a fee; the amount received for freedom of information requests in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50602/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The table below sets out the number of Freedom of Information requests received by my Department from 2016 to date. The following table includes information on the number of requests that were refused, the number of requests that were partially granted, the number of appeals (Internal Reviews), the number of such appeals upheld and the number of appeals whereby the decision to release records was amended. No appeals were rejected.

Year

FOI Requests Received

Refused

Partially Granted

Internal Reviews

Appeals: Upheld

Appeals: Decision Amended

2016

203

48

69

10

6

4

2017

249

48

95

8

5

3

2018

208

66

68

14

7

7

2019 (to date)

289

80

98

10

6

4

With regard to the reasons for the refusal of FOI requests, the processing of all FOI requests in the Department is done in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2014. That Act makes provision for access, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy, to records in the possession of public bodies such as my Department. As the Deputy will be aware, specific exemptions are set out in the legislation and these are applied by the Department where appropriate. In some instances, FOI requests are refused under more than one Section of the Act.

The following table summarises the fees received for Freedom of Information requests from 2016 to date. A small number of other FOI requests may have required fees to be paid. However, these FOI requests were refused by the Department under Section 15(1) (h) where a fee or deposit payable under Section 27 of the FOI Act in respect of the requests concerned has not been paid.

Year

Amount Received

Number of Requests

2016

€186.35

6

2017

€246.35

9

2018

€370.00

10

2019

€210.00

7