Thursday, 8 February 2018
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Freedom of Information Data
249. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of freedom of information requests received by his Department in each of the years 2013 to 2017; the average time taken in these years to complete the requests by his Department; the number of requests to his Department for these years that ran beyond the deadline for the request; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6885/18]
The number of Freedom of Information requests received by my Department from 2013 to 2017 is set out in the table.
My Department does not maintain records in respect of the average time taken to complete Freedom of Information requests and accordingly is not in a position to provide that particular piece of data requested by the Deputy.
Section 14 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 allows the standard 4 week (20 working days) time limit for dealing with requests to be extended only in certain very limited circumstances which are as follows:
- where the request relates to such a number of records that compliance with the standard 4 week time period is not reasonably possible, or
- where the number of other Freedom of Information requests relating to the particular record(s) sought or to information corresponding to that to which the request relates, are such that compliance with the standard 4 week time period is not reasonably possible.
If the limited circumstances set out above apply, the requester must be notified of the fact of the extension and the period of the extension before the expiry of the initial 4 week period. The period of extension must not exceed 4 weeks (20 working days). The Act also allows for the completion of requests outside of the standard 4 week timeframe where there is the requirement for third party consultation.
Where a period of extension is proposed, the requester has the right to appeal the matter directly to the Information Commissioner.
Data concerning the number of times my Department needed to avail of these timeframe extension provisions from 2013 to 2017 is set out in the table.
My Department is committed to meeting its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2014 including responding to Freedom of Information requests within the statutory timeframes.
|Year||Number of Freedom of Information requests received||Number of requests where extension was applied|