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Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am
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TOPIC: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 4 days, 14 hours ago #13

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Figure 4

Stats by Department.

Looking at Corporate and Community Services the council stats are that out of 440 requests 93% were answered within 20 working days.

31 were not answered within the statutory time scale.

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 4 days, 14 hours ago #14

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Figure 5.

73% of applications resulted in full disclosure.


Therefore 497 did not result in full disclosure, irrespective of exemptions cited by the council.

Yet again we have another caveat applied by the council that not all exemptions have been placed against the number of applications as some received more that one exemption applied by the council and were therefore refused.

(We have to ask are any of these stats actually worth reproducing, at all, other than to satisfy what we would describe as the vanity of Mr Buchanan and Mr Devlin.)

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 4 days, 14 hours ago #15

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Figure 7.
We would have to suggest that the majority of people to submit FOI applications are not fully up to speed with the details of the legislation, therefore when they receive a reply indicating that a legal exemption applies, they will back off and not challenge the decision.

However on 43 occasions the applicant did.

Only thing missing from the stats is the average number of days the Chief Solicitor Gerry Mahon took to respond.

7.jpg

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 4 days, 11 hours ago #16

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Being a frequent user of FOI requests I am very surprised with the stats produced by ERC.

I have rarely found Democratic Services (AKA Eammon Daly) to reply in anything under 19/20 working days.

Must just be me

In addition I have rarely found Gerry Mahon, chief solicitor to respond to review requests in anything under 19/20 working days.

Must just be me

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 4 days, 11 hours ago #17

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In addition through regular dealings in respect of FOI, I have found the author of this report to be an exemplary council officer.

With regards to some other officers, in my opinion many appear to be fixated with the view that FOI requests should be denied as the first resort.

Where the legislation clearly states that FOI requests should be provided as a first resort, unless an exemption exists.

Only my personal opinion.

Re: Cabinet Committee Meeting - Thursday, 15 August 2019 at 10.00am 3 days, 19 hours ago #18

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The problem ERC have in being open & transparent is that you have to be open & transparent ALL the time.

ERC just cannot pick & choose when they want to be open & transparent.

You just cannot commit to Freedom of information only when it suits you.

I would agree with the comments regarding the author of the report.

I would also agree with the figures of 19/20 working days timescale for response and would add the Director of Environment and the Leisure Trust to this list for 19/20 working days response.
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