Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (122)

Barry Cowen

Question:

122. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Education and Skills 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. [50595/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department reports annually to both the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Office of the Information Commissioner on Freedom of Information activity. The Office of the Information Commissioner publish this data in its annual report and the annual reports up to 2018 are available on the OIC’s website - https://www.oic.ie/publications/annual-reports/

To date in 2019 the data is as follows:

Year

Total Rec'd

Granted

Part-granted

Request Transferred

Request withdrawn or handled outside of FOI

Refused

Current FOI on Hand

Appeal - Internal Review (IR)

Appeal - Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC)

2019

482

88

90

18

132

71

62

19

5

Total FOIs received 2019 does not include to date includes 20 live FOIs carried over from 2018.

- Of the 19 cases appealed for internal review, the decision by my Department was upheld in 12, 3 were partially overturned, 3 were withdrawn by the requester and 1 remains open.

- Of the 5 cases appealed to the Information Commissioner, 4 are ongoing and the OIC overturned the department’s decision on the fifth.

- Where fees are applicable, my department will engage requesters to refine the scope of the request so that fees do not fall due in line with section 27 of the FOI Act. To date 216 euro in search & retrieval fees has been applied.