Mr. X and Galway City Council

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator
Judgment Date26 May 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that the Council was justified its decision to refuse access to the records sought by the applicant under section 10(1)(a) of the FOI Act. He affirmed the decision of the Council.
Record Number150022
RespondentGalway City Council
Whether the Council was justified in its decision to refuse access to further records relating to the applicant's dealings with the Council's Housing Section under section 10(1)(a) of the FOI Act on the basis that no further records exist or can be found after all reasonable steps to ascertain their whereabouts have been taken Conducted in accordance with section 34(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review Background

On 20 September 2014 the applicant made a request to the Council for all records created within the Housing section of the Council relating to him, for the period 1 October 2013 to 20 February 2014. On 10 November 2014 the Council released 17 records in total to the applicant, 15 records in full, with two records subject to redactions under section 28(1) of the Act, to protect the personal information of third parties. The applicant, on 12 November 2014, appealed the decision of the Council, as he was not satisfied that all relevant records had been released to him. The applicant, in his request for internal review, identified nine records which he believed should have been released to him as a result of his FOI request. On 22 December 2014 the Council issued an internal review affirming its original decision, and indicated that there were no outstanding records relating to the applicant's request. The applicant, on 22 December 2014, applied to this Office for a review of the Council's decision.

I note that Mr Art Foley of this Office wrote to the applicant on 30 April 2015 with details of the searches carried out by the Council to locate the records within the scope of his request. In his email to the applicant, he indicated that, in his view, the decision of the Council to refuse to grant access to the records he had identified at internal review and further described in a submission to this Office of 4 February was justified. Mr Foley further invited the applicant to make a submission to this Office if he disagreed with this view. The applicant, in correspondence dated 3 May 2015 to this Office, indicated that he was not satisfied with the record keeping practices of the Council, and stated that he wished this Office to proceed to a final decision in this review. I therefore consider that this review should be brought to a close by issue of a formal, binding decision.

In conducting this review, I have had regard to correspondence between the...

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