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Information Commissioner Launches her Annual Report for 2012

OIC Annual Report 2013The Information Commissioner and Commissioner for Environmental Information, Emily O'Reilly, today Tuesday 14 May 2013, launched her Annual Report for 2012, the fifteenth since the founding of the Office in 1998.


The Commissioner:

  • Notes a 38% increase in the number of FOI review applications received by her Office in 2012.
  • Notes the progress being made on the Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill and the proposed automatic application of FOI legislation to all newly-formed public bodies.
  • Welcomes the opportunity for her Office to participate in a review group to determine improvements in the use of the Act and to promote good practice.
  • Expresses disappointment at the decision of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to stop collating the statistical FOI returns due to an administratively unsustainable workload. The Commissioner was consequently unable to publish information and provide commentary in her Annual Report on the FOI requests made to public bodies in 2012.

 

Key decisions made in 2012 include:

  • The release of reports compiled by the HSE following its investigation of complaints against a nursing home.
  • The release of the identities of individuals from whom the IDA leased properties between 2007 and 2010.
  • The release - in the public interest - of records relating to mortality rates for Mayo General Hospital.

 

Decisions not to release included:

  • Records relating to State financial matters, including the liquidity of the banking system
  • A series of requests to Dublin City Council on the grounds that they comprised a pattern of manifest unreasonableness.
  • Requests for the medical records of an applicant's deceased father on the grounds that his father would not have consented to their release while he was living.


Commissioner for Environmental Information

Part II of the Commissioner’s Annual Report for 2012 relates to her separate role as Commissioner for Environmental Information. It focuses on decisions made by her Office on appeals under the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations 2007.

  • The Commissioner commented that the overall purpose of the AIE regime is to contribute to a better environment by increasing public access to environmental information and thereby achieve more effective public participation in environmental decision-making.
  • However, she once again expressed disappointment at the relatively small number of AIE appeals to her Office in 2012.

 

Further Information contact: 

Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator - 01 639 5680 / 087 4110557 Email: stephen_rafferty@oic.gov.ie

Media enquiries contact

David Nutley, Communications Unit – 01 639 5610 Email: david_nutley@ombudsman.gov.ie

The 2012 Annual Report is available on the Commissioner's website at www.oic.gov.ie.