The Information Commissioner and the Commissioner for Environmental Information, Peter Tyndall, launched his offices’ annual report today. The report is Mr Tyndall’s third since taking office and highlights the welcome improvement in his offices capacity against a backdrop of an increasing workload.
The report notes:
- A 32% increase in applications to review FOI decisions of public bodies reflecting a 38% increase in requests.
- A 20% increase of the number of applications for review disposed of within four months
- The Commissioner’s intention to pay closer scrutiny to failures of public bodies to issue timely decisions
- An 80% increase in appeals to the Commissioner for Environmental Information
- The appointment of two investigators expressly for the purpose of conducting AIE appeals.
This firm advised on several key decisions made in 2015 which were highlighted by the Commissioner:
- A decision that a new provision of the FOI Act 2014 prevented disclosure of Oireachtas members’ expenses (link)
- The decision to order release of documents relating to lobbying on the Legal Services Regulation Bill (link)
- Information on the usage of Garda aircraft, contract for the provision of fuel and an electricity bill were not environmental information (link).
- That the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation was not a public authority under the AIE Regulations (link)
- NAMA v Commissioner for Environmental Information – judgment delivered by the Supreme Court in June 2015 – definition of public authority (link)
- Minch -v- Commissioner for Environmental Information – judgment delivered by the High Court in February 2016 – definition of environmental information (link)
A copy of the report is available on the Commissioner’s website.