Written answers

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Department of Justice and Equality

Freedom of Information Data

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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140. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality 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. [50601/19]

Photo of Charles FlanaganCharles Flanagan (Laois, Fine Gael)
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The information requested by the Deputy is set out in tabular format below.

As noted in the table, due to the time-frame for processing requests under the Freedom of Information Act, there will always be a number of live cases on hand at the end of each year which have to be finalised in the following calendar year.

It is not possible to provide statistics on the grounds applying to individual refusals on a retrospective basis as this information was not previously part of the Department's tracking system for FOI requests. However, a new tracking system has been adopted by the Department during 2019 and this information will be available with respect to future requests.

As the Deputy will be aware, a fee is no longer required to process a Freedom of Information request for non-personal records. The fee for an internal review (appeal) of a request under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 in relation to non-personal records is €30 or €10 for a medical card-holder. During the specified period, the Department has received a total of €770 in respect of applications for internal reviews for non-personal requests.

During the specified period, my Department has not received any search and retrieval fees for requests.

2019 (YTD 31/11/2019)
No. FOI requests received 583 769 827 828
Personal 312 402 378 373
Non-personal 269 394 449 454
Mixed 2 0 0 1
Granted 159 163 235 197
Part granted 206 250 302 309
Refused 7 274 201 191
Transferred 26 3 4 1
Withdrawn 32 45 48 58
Withdrawn and handled outside of Act 76 45 63 11
Cases on hand at year end 109 125 99 160
Internal Appeals 76 125 72 61*
Internal Appeals (Granted/Part granted/Withdrawn and handled outside the Act) 47 45 37 28
Internal Appeals Refused 29 80 35 23

*A number of reviews are still being processed.


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