Written answers

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Freedom of Information Data

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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106. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform 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. [50602/19]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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The table below sets out the number of Freedom of Information requests received by my Department from 2016 to date. The following table includes information on the number of requests that were refused, the number of requests that were partially granted, the number of appeals (Internal Reviews), the number of such appeals upheld and the number of appeals whereby the decision to release records was amended. No appeals were rejected.

Year FOI Requests Received Refused Partially Granted Internal Reviews Appeals: Upheld Appeals: Decision Amended
2016 203 48 69 10 6 4
2017 249 48 95 8 5 3
2018 208 66 68 14 7 7
2019 (to date) 289 80 98 10 6 4

With regard to the reasons for the refusal of FOI requests, the processing of all FOI requests in the Department is done in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2014. That Act makes provision for access, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the public interest and the right to privacy, to records in the possession of public bodies such as my Department. As the Deputy will be aware, specific exemptions are set out in the legislation and these are applied by the Department where appropriate. In some instances, FOI requests are refused under more than one Section of the Act.

The following table summarises the fees received for Freedom of Information requests from 2016 to date. A small number of other FOI requests may have required fees to be paid. However, these FOI requests were refused by the Department under Section 15(1) (h) where a fee or deposit payable under Section 27 of the FOI Act in respect of the requests concerned has not been paid.

Year Amount Received Number of Requests
2016 €186.35 6
2017 €246.35 9
2018 €370.00 10
2019 €210.00 7


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