Mr X and the Brothers of Charity Services

JudgeStephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator
Judgment Date23 April 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that the Services was justified in refusing access to the records in accordance with section 15(1)(a) of the FOI Act. He affirmed the decision of the Services.
Record Number150004
CourtInformation Commission
RespondentBrothers of Charity Services
Whether the Services was justified in its decision to refuse access to further records relating to the applicant held by the Occupational Health Service under section 15(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 22(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review

On 4 November 2014, the applicant submitted a request to the Services for "all information held on me within the [a named department]". On 28 November 2014 the Services released 79 records in total to the applicant, 74 records in full, with a further five records subject to redactions in order to protect the personal information of third parties. The applicant, on 8 December 2014, sought an internal review of this decision as he was not satisfied that all relevant records had been released. On 19 December 2014, the Services issued an internal review decision affirming its original decision. On 6 January 2015, the applicant sought a review by this Office of the Services' decision.

Mr Art Foley of this Office informed the applicant, by emails dated 12 March and 27 March 2015, of the searches undertaken by the Services to locate all relevant records and of its responses to queries raised arising from the applicant's concerns. In his emails to the applicant he outlined his view that the Services' refusal to grant access to further records on the grounds that no further records exist or can be found was justified and he invited the applicant to make further comments if he disagreed with his view. The applicant, in his correspondence with this Office, stated that he was extremely unhappy at the manner in which previous FOI requests and other matters were administered by the Service, and that other records should exist, relating to a work related injury suffered in June 2010. I have decided, therefore, to conclude this review by way of a formal binding decision.

In carrying out this review, I have had regard to the correspondence between the Services and the applicant as set out above. I have had regard also to communications between this Office and the applicant, and to communications between this Office and the Services. Finally, I have had regard to the provisions of the FOI Act.

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