Note: PQ relating to
this press release is below.
A response to a Parliamentary Question from Sinn
Féin TD Pearse Doherty has shown that more than half of Freedom of Information
requests to the Department of Environment this year relating to Irish Water
were not answered within the statutory timeframe.
The reply from Minister Alan Kelly’s Department
outlined that fifty Freedom of Information requests relating to Irish Water
were received by the department so far this year. Of those only twenty-three
were answered within the statutory timeframe, a further ten were completed
within an extended period, fourteen were answered outside the extended period timeframe and
three are outstanding.
Speaking today Deputy Doherty said;
“The Department of Environment is responsible for
the Freedom of Information requests yet it has failed to answer more than half
of requests submitted to that department on Irish Water this year within the
“This is an outrageous situation and I would call
on Minister Alan Kelly to make a statement on the matter at the earliest
“Freedom of Information requests are an important
piece of our democratic fabric and they need to be taken seriously.
“We should not allow a situation to exist where the
department that is responsible for FoI requests can’t even facilitate its own
requests. If this is a matter of resources the Minister should provide them
Chun an Aire Comhshaoil, Pobail agus Rialtais Áitiúil:
To the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local
To ask the Minister for the
Environment, Community and Local Government the number of Freedom of
Information requests received by his Department relating to Irish Water since 1
January 2014; the number of these that were completed on time; the number that
were completed after an extra requested period; the number that were not
completed in either of these timeframes; and if he will make a statement on the
- Pearse Doherty.
For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 15th April, 2015.
Ref No: 14068/15
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy
My Department received fifty Freedom of Information requests relating to
Irish Water in the period 1 January 2014 to 10 April 2015.
Of those requests, twenty three were
answered within the statutory timeframe. A further ten were completed within an
extended period, which was required for additional consideration of the request
and which was notified to the requestor. Fourteen requests were answered
outside the timeframes and three requests are currently being processed.
While every effort is made within my Department to
respond to requests as promptly as possible, it is sometimes necessary to
extend the period for processing of requests due to reasons such as the need
for third party consultation or the volume of material to be examined.