Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Ceisteanna (226)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

226. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development 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. [50603/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017 and has received the following FOI requests since that date:

Year

2017

2018

2019 (at 02/12/2019)

Total received

14

58

76

Granted

4

14

24

Part-Granted

3

12

6

Refused

2

14

8

Withdrawn

3

6

9

Handled outside FOI

2

12

18

Transferred

0

0

1

Open requests

12

Internal Reviews

0

2

1

Decision Upheld

1

0

Decision Varied

1

1

A total of €240 was collected in fees, in respect of one request, during the period in question. Where requesters may be subject to fees, the Department is active in assisting requesters refine their requests where possible to ensure that information can be provided without a fee requirement.

Requests are refused where records are withheld under the various exemptions as set out under the Freedom of Information Act. In respect of the 24 requests where no records were released, 16 were refused under Section 15 (1)(a) of the Act, where records did not exist or could not be found. Other reasons for refusal included Section 29 (Deliberations of FOI Bodies), Section 30 (Functions and Negotiations of FOI Bodies) and Section 36 (Commercially Sensitive Information).