Ms. D and The Child and Family Agency

CourtInformation Commission
JudgeElizabeth Dolan Senior Investigator
Judgment Date29 May 2015
Case OutcomeThe Senior Investigator found that TUSLA was justified in deciding to partially refuse access to the records in accordance with section 42(m)(i) of the FOI Act. She affirmed the decision of TUSLA.
Record Number150061
RespondentThe Child and Family Agency (TUSLA)
Whether TUSLA was justified in deciding to partially refuse access to records relating to the applicant and her son on the grounds that they concerned information obtained in confidence which could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of the informant. 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 4 December 2014, the applicant made a request to TUSLA for any information held by it concerning herself and her son. TUSLA identified 20 records as relevant to the request, and it decided to grant full access to records 1 to 12, and 15 to 20, inclusive. It granted partial access to records 13 and 14. On 5 February 2015, the applicant sought an internal review of the decision to partially release records 13 and 14. The decision was upheld by TUSLA on internal review. On 19 February 2015, the applicant sought a review of TUSLA's decision.

I have decided to conclude this review by way of a formal binding decision. In conducting this review, I have had regard to the contents of the relevant records, to the correspondence between the applicant and TUSLA, to the correspondence between the applicant and this Office, and to the provisions of the FOI Act.

Scope of the Review

The scope of this review is concerned solely with whether TUSLA was justified in deciding to allow only partial access to records 13 and 14.

Finding

As a preliminary point, it should be noted that while I am required by section 22(10) of the FOI Act to give reasons for decisions, this is subject to the requirement of section 25(3) that I take all reasonable precautions during the course of a review to prevent disclosure of information contained in an exempt record. This means that the description which I can give of the records at issue is limited.

The records under consideration concern an anonymous letter sent to TUSLA, which alleged that the applicant was not providing adequate care to her children. TUSLA seeks to rely upon section 42(m)(i) of the FOI Act to justify its decision to partially release records 13 and 14 to the applicant. This states that

"This Act does not apply to...
(m) a record relating to information whose disclosure could reasonably be expected to reveal, or lead to the revelation of --
(i) the identity of a person who has provided information in confidence in relation to the enforcement or administration of the law to...

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