Mr Y and Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date28 Jun 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator varied the NMBI's decision. He directed the release of the domain names of NMBI staff email addresses on the ground that they did not constitute personal information under the FOI Act. He affirmed the decision of the NMBI to refuse access, under section 37(1), to the domain names of the remaining redacted emails.
RespondentNursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland
Record NumberOIC-106961-R2N0H7
Whether the NMBI was justified in refusing access, under section 37(1) of the Act, to the domain names of email addresses redacted from records released to the applicant relating to him and to his dealings with the NMBI on the ground that their release would involve the disclosure of third party personal information

28 June 2021

Background

It appears that the applicant in this case originally submitted a subject access request under GDPR to the NMBI on 23 February 2021 and that the request was processed as a request under the FOI Act. The request was for a copy of any information the NMBI keeps, on computer or in manual form, in relation to him and previous concerns raised with the NMBI. On 18 March 2021, the applicant also submitted an FOI request for a copy of a specified complaint.

In a decision dated 22 March 2021, the NMBI part-granted the applicant’s request, releasing 21 records to him with redactions made under section 37 of the FOI Act. The applicant sought an internal review of that decision on the grounds that he had not received all relevant records and that he wished to receive access to the domain of the email addresses that had been redacted.

The NMBI issued its internal review decision on 27 April 2021, in which it affirmed its original decision. Following correspondence with the applicant, it released a revised internal review decision on 28 April 2021, in which it varied its original decision and released the further record sought by the applicant to him with redactions made under section 37 of the FOI Act. On 28 April 2021, the applicant sought a review by this Office of the NMBI’s decision.

I have now completed my review in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act. In carrying out my review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the applicant and the NMBI as outlined above and to the correspondence between this Office and both the applicant and the NMBI on the matter. I have also had regard to the content of the relevant records. In referring to the records at issue, I have adopted the record numbering system used by the NMBI when processing the request. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision.

Scope of the Review

In his application for review to this Office, the applicant stated that he was seeking access only to the domain name(s) of the email addresses redacted from the records released to him. Accordingly, this review is concerned solely with whether the NMBI was justified in refusing, under section 37(1) of the Act, to grant access to the domain names of the redacted email addresses.

Preliminary Matters

Before I address the substantive issues arising, I would like to make a number of preliminary comments. First, the applicant should note that under section 13(4) of the Act, any reason that a requester gives for a request must generally be...

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