Mr X and the Defence Forces

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeStephen Rafferty Senior Investigator
Judgment Date29 June 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator varied the decision of the Defence Forces and found that the applicant was not entitled to the statement of reasons sought
Record Number150066
RespondentThe Defence Forces
Whether the Defence Forces has fulfilled its requirements under section 10 of the FOI Act in relation to the applicant's request for a statement of reasons for the responses it gave to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (the Department) on the applicant's role with the Defence Forces in connection with a claim for incremental credit
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 background to this review lies in a decision of the Department to refuse the applicant's request for incremental credit on the basis of his prior service with the Defence Forces. It appears that the Department sought clarification from the Defence Forces as to the nature of his role and that subsequently the Department refused the application for incremental credit on the basis of the information provided by the Defence Forces. On 21 November 2014, the applicant applied to the Defence Forces for a statement of reasons as to why the Defence Forces responded as it did.

On 26 January 2015, the Defence Forces provided a statement of reasons for the nature of its responses to the Department. The applicant sought an internal review of the Defence Forces' decision on 29 January 2015, following which the Defence Forces provided a more detailed statement of reasons on 27 February 2015. The applicant applied to this Office for a review of the Defence Force's decision on 3 March 2015

On 24 March 2015, the applicant made a submission on the matter to this Office. During the course of this review, Mr Benjamin O'Gorman of this Office informed the applicant of his view that the Defence Forces was not required to provide a statement of reasons in this case. The applicant indicated that he required a formal decision on the matter. Accordingly I have decided to conclude this review by issuing a formal, binding decision. In conducting this review I have had regard to the provisions of the FOI Act, to the decisions of the Defence Forces on foot of the applicant's request, and to the applicant's submission to this Office.

Scope of the Review

This review is concerned solely with the question of whether the Defence Forces has complied with the provisions of section 10 of the FOI Act in relation to the applicant's request for a statement of reasons for the responses it gave to the Department on the applicant's role with the Defence Forces in...

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