Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (81)

Barry Cowen

Question:

81. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Taoiseach 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; and the amount received for freedom of information requests in tabular form. [50604/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Taoiseach)

The details requested by the Deputy in relation to FOI requests received by my Department are set out in the tables beneath. Regarding records part granted or refused, material is redacted for a variety of reasons, as provided for in the FOI Act.

Examples of grounds commonly used by FOI decision makers in my Department for withholding material include where it is necessary to withhold personal information such as personal email addresses or mobile phone numbers, where Government records less than 5 years old are concerned, where the material, if released, could have an adverse impact on the international relations or the economic interests of the State, and where commercially sensitive information is involved.

2016

2017

2018

2019

Total number of requests received 

275

344

490

466

Granted 

55

75

111

75

Part granted 

138

145

243

192

Refused 

54

35

46

24

No records exist 

11

65

70

81

Transferred 

1

8

3

8

Withdrawn 

15

11

13

27

Handled outside FOI 

1

5

4

3

Ongoing 

0

0

0

56

Total number of internal review (IR) requests

10

13

19

5

IR requests upheld

5

8

17

4

IR requests varied

3

4

1

1

IR requests annulled

0

1

1

0

IR requests withdrawn

2

0

0

0

Requests that required search and retrieval fees

0

0

2

2

Total amount of search and retrieval fees received

0

0

€467.84

€820

Office of the Information Commissioner (OIC) reviews 

3

3

3

1

Upheld by OIC

0

2

1

1

Varied by OIC

1

0

0

0

Annulled by OIC

0

1

0

0

Withdrawn after referral to OIC

2

0

1

0

Ongoing at OIC

0

0

1

0