Mr Y and Tipperary County Council

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date22 Jun 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the decision of the Council.
RespondentTipperary County Council
Record NumberOIC-107223-K3C2H5
Whether the Council was justified in refusing access, under section 15(1)(c) of the FOI Act, to all records relating to the applicant over a 25 year period on the ground that processing the request would cause a substantial and unreasonable interference with or disruption of its work

22 June 2021

Background

In a request dated 4 November 2020, the applicant sought access to all forms of written communication emails, letters, letters handed in at front desk, minutes of meetings, internal memos, and texts that mention him for the past 25 years held by all sections of the housing department, the County engineering office, the Cahir County Council office, the County Manager, and all upper management meetings”.

On 6 November 2020, the Council wrote to the applicant wherein it informed him that his request did not contain sufficient particulars to enable the records sought to be identified and that his request may have to be refused. In order to assist the applicant with his request, it asked him to provide further details to help it identify the records sought. It asked him to provide details of the sections he had dealings with and when, and any related reference or account numbers. It also explained that as his request was for personal information it required appropriate evidence of identification.

On 17 November 2020, the applicant submitted a new request, wherein he stated that he needed the Council to look at the housing section and the customer service desk. He sought “All and everything on me”. It appears that the Council emailed the applicant seeking evidence of identification and that the applicant did not reply. Instead, on 2 February 2021, he re-submitted the request he had originally submitted on 4 November 2020. Separately, he sent identification details to the Council when requested to do so. On 19 February, 2021, the Council wrote to the applicant and informed him that it was proposing to refuse his request under section 15(1)(c) of the Act (which is essentially concerned with the refusal of voluminous requests) unless he agreed to refine it, and it informed him that it would be happy to assist in refining the request. In response, the applicant stated that he would need all information as set out in his request.

On 2 March 2021, the Council refused the applicant’s request under section 15(1)(c) on the basis that granting the request would, by reason of the number of the records concerned, require the retrieval and examination of such number of...

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