Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (89)

Barry Cowen

Question:

89. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 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. [50598/19]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in tabular format below. Where freedom of information requests were fully refused, a broad range of exemptions, prescribed in the FOI Act 2014, were applied. The total number of requests refused includes cases where the records requested did not exist. In the interest of transparency and openness, all non-personal FOI requests are made available on my Department's website. In each case the response letter outlining whether they were granted, part granted or refused and the reason why is also published.

Where Search and Retrieval fees are incurred, requesters have the option to reduce the scope of their request to reduce or eliminate such fees. My Department works with requesters who wish to explore this option and since 2016 no search and retrieval fees have been levied by my Department.

2016

Number

Number of FOI requests received

214

Number of FOI requests refused

22

Number of FOI requests part granted

66

FOI requests referred to internal review

8

Internal reviews (Decision affirmed)

7

Internal reviews (Decision varied)

1

Search and retrieval fees

N/A

Internal review fees

€150

2017

Number

Number of FOI requests received

262

Number of FOI requests refused

29

Number of FOI requests part granted

75

FOI requests referred to internal review

9

Internal reviews (Decision affirmed)

1

Internal reviews (Decision varied)

8

Search and retrieval fees

N/A

Internal review fees

€60

2018

Number

Number of FOI requests received

320

Number of FOI requests refused

42

Number of FOI requests part granted

91

FOI requests referred to internal review

13

Internal reviews (Decision affirmed)

6

Internal reviews (Decision overturned)

2

Internal reviews (Decision varied)

5

Search and retrieval fees

N/A

Internal review fees

€210

2019

Number

Number of FOI requests received (up to Sept 30th)

286

Number of FOI requests refused

54

Number of FOI requests part granted

94

FOI requests referred to internal review

17

Internal reviews (Decision affirmed)

16

Internal reviews (Decision varied)

1

Search and retrieval fees

N/A

Internal review fees

€270