Mr J and the National Roads Authority

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty Senior Investigator
Judgment Date31 August 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that the Authority was justified in its decision to refuse the request on the ground that it does not hold the record sought.
Record Number150179
RespondentNational Roads Authority
Whether the Authority was justified in refusing a request for a specified CPO map on the ground that it does not hold the record sought
Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review
Background

The National Roads Authority has recently merged with the Railway Procurement Agency to form a new single entity called Transport Infrastructure Ireland, with effect from 1 August 2015. However, for clarity, I shall continue to refer to the public body as it was called at the time the applicant made his FOI request, i.e. the National Roads Authority.

The applicant submitted a request to the Authority on 2 April 2015 for access to a specified C.P.O. map. In its decision of 14 April 2015, the Authority refused the request on the ground that it does not hold a copy of the map. The Authority informed the applicant that the map may be held by Kildare County Council (the Council). It recommended that the applicant direct his enquiry to the Council and provided relevant contact details. The applicant sought an internal review of the Authority's decision and on 8 June 2015, the Authority issued its internal review decision in which it upheld the original decision to refuse access. It again referred the applicant to the Council. The applicant applied to this Office for a review of the Authority's decision on 12 June 2015.

During the course of this review Mr. Christopher Campbell of this Office informed the applicant of his view that the Authority was justified in refusing the request on the ground that it does not hold the record sought. The applicant has nevertheless indicated that he requires a formal decision on the matter. Accordingly, I consider that this review should be brought to a close by means of a formal binding decision.

In conducting this review I have had regard to the communications between this Office and both the applicant and the Authority and to the communications between the applicant and the Authority.

Preliminary Matters

Section 12(3) of the FOI Act provides that where an FOI body receives a request for a record that it does not hold but to its knowledge is held by another FOI body, it shall transfer the request to the other FOI body within two weeks and inform the applicant of having done so. I note that the Authority did not transfer the applicant's request to the Council in this case. It may be that the Authority...

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