Mr P and Office of the Revenue Commissioners

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty Senior Investigator
Judgment Date13 November 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that Revenue was justified in its decision to refuse the request on the ground that no further records within scope of the request exist or can be found.
Record Number150210
RespondentOffice of the Revenue Commissioners
Whether Revenue was justified, following release of a number of records in response to the applicant's request, in deciding that no further records exist or can be found after all reasonable steps have been taken to ascertain their whereabouts 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

This review has its background in a report Revenue issued to the applicant in response to his complaint under the Disability Act 2005. The report contains a statement that a named Revenue Access Officers could rightly make an assertion that Revenue has always helped the applicant in every way it could as it is based on fact and backed up by Revenue records. The applicant submitted a request to Revenue on 13 April 2015 for access to those records that back up the assertion, as suggested.

In its decision of 11 May 2015, Revenue released all 61 records that it had identified as coming within the scope of his request. The applicant sought an internal review of that decision as he considered that the records released did not show that Revenue has always helped him in every way it could. Revenue issued its internal review decision on 30 June 2015 in which it upheld the original decision on the ground that all relevant records had been identified and released and that no additional relevant records had been identified following further searches.

The applicant applied to this Office for a review of Revenue's decision on 12 June 2015. During the course of the review Mr. Christopher Campbell of this Office informed the applicant of his view that Revenue was justified in refusing his request for additional records based on the details of the searches undertaken.. The applicant has suggested that the best means to bring this review to close would be by way of a formal binding decision.

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

Scope of Review

This review is concerned solely with the question of whether Revenue was justified in its decision to refuse the request on the ground that no further records exist or can be found after all reasonable steps have been taken to ascertain their whereabouts.

Analysis and Findings

Section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act provides for the refusal of a request where the...

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