Mr P and Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeSenior Investigator
Judgment Date17 Aug 2021
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the decision of GSOC.
RespondentGarda Síochána Ombudsman Commission
Record NumberOIC-111132-B9W1L2
Whether GSOC was justified in refusing the applicant’s request for any personal data pertaining to him logged during the period from January 2019 to present on the ground that the FOI Act does not apply in respect of the records sought, pursuant to Part 1(y), Schedule 1 of the Act

17 August 2021

Background

In a request dated 5 December 2020, the applicant sought a copy of any personal data pertaining to him logged during the period from January 2019 to present and in particular, any information that would explain Garda actions during May of 2019, when he came to the attention of the Gardaí. On 11 December 2020, GSOC refused the request on the ground that the records sought are excluded from the scope of the FOI Act, pursuant to Part 1(y), Schedule 1 of the Act. The applicant sought an internal review of that decision, following which GSOC affirmed its original decision. On 3 August 2020, the applicant sought a review by this Office of GSOC’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 GSOC and the applicant as outlined above and to the correspondence between this Office and both parties on the matter. I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal, binding decision.

Scope of Review

This review is concerned solely with whether GSOC was justified in refusing the applicant’s request for any personal data pertaining to him logged during the period from January 2019 to present on the ground that the FOI Act does not apply in respect of the records sought, pursuant to Part 1(y), Schedule 1 of the Act.

Preliminary Matter

In his application for review, the applicant explained why he is seeking access to the information sought. Section 13(4) of the Act provides that in deciding whether to grant or refuse a request, any reason that the requester gives for the request shall be disregarded. This means that I cannot have regard to the applicant's motives for seeking access to the information in question, except in so far as those motives reflect what might be regarded as public interest factors in favour of release of the information where the Act requires a consideration of the public interest (not relevant in this case).

Analysis and Findings

Section 6(2)(a) of the FOI Act provides that an entity specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 shall, subject to the provisions of that Part, be a public body for the purposes of the Act. Schedule 1...

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