Mr X and Mayo County Council

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeElizabeth Dolan Senior Investigator
Judgment Date13 July 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator affirmed the decision of the Council by finding that the refusal of access to records by the Council is justified under section 15(1)(a) and section 15(1)(i)(i) of the FOI Act.
Record Number150043
RespondentMayo County Council
Whether the refusal of access to records by the Council is justified under section 30(1)(a) of the FOI Act Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act by Elizabeth Dolan, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review Background

On 27 November 2014 the applicant made an FOI request to the Council for full details of certain matters which were referred to in a court submission. By letter dated 23 December 2014, the Council refused access to the records on the basis that they were exempt from release under section 30(1)(a) of the FOI Act. On 6 January 2015 the applicant applied for an internal review. By letter dated 26 January 2015, the Council issued its internal review decision, in which it affirmed its original decision. The applicant applied to this Office for a review of the Council's decision on 5 February 2015.

In conducting this review I have had regard to the Council's decision on the matter; the Council's communications with the applicant and with this Office; the applicant's communications with the Council and with this Office; and to the provisions of the FOI Act.

Preliminary Matters

I would like to outline what has been a very unsatisfactory chronology of events. As noted above, the Council originally refused the records on the ground that they were exempt from release under section 30(1)(a) of the FOI Act. However, when this Office requested copies of the records, the Council informed this Office that the only relevant record was the court submission itself, to which the applicant already has access. This Office then issued a series of questions to the Council to ascertain whether the records which the applicant sought existed and whether the Council had taken reasonable steps to ascertain their whereabouts. Through these and subsequent questions, it transpired that the records which the applicant sought did exist. The Council informed this Office that the records were contained on the applicant's personnel file and had previously been provided to him. The applicant confirmed to this Office that the Council had released all of those records to him apart from one, which the Council subsequently released. This Office then requested the Council to confirm that no further records existed in relation to this FOI request, in addition to those already released. The Council confirmed that this was the case.

It is clear from this outline of events that the Council did not respond...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT