Sections 13(2)(d) and 21(5)(c) of the FOI Act require FOI bodies to give reasons for the refusal of an FOI request, whether in whole or in part. Specifically, the body’s decision must contain the reasons for the refusal and*
(*unless the refusal is based on a refusal to confirm or deny provision contained in the Act)
It is not sufficient for an FOI body to simply quote or paraphrase the words of the particular exemptions relied upon when refusing a request. The decision should show a connection, supported by a chain of reasoning, between the decision maker’s findings and the decision.
Detailed guidance for decision makers is available on the website of the Central Policy Unit of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (www.foi.gov.ie), and includes template decision letters.
Where the Commissioner considers that the statement of reasons given by FOI bodies in their decisions is inadequate, he will, under section 23 of the Act, direct the Head of the body to provide a fuller statement that complies with the provisions of section 13(2)(d). We refer to these directions as section 23 Notices. Details of section 23 notices issued are published here on a quarterly basis.
|Period||Case Reference||FOI Body|
Trinity College Dublin
Dublin City Council