Dáil Éireann - Volume 580 - 17 February, 2004
Written Answers - Freedom of Information.
Ms O'Sullivan Ms O'Sullivan
137. Ms O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Finance the progress made to date with regard to efforts to clear the backlog of appeals in the Office of the Information Commissioner; the number of appeals outstanding at the latest date for which figures are available; the average time being taken to hear an appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4761/04]
Mr. McCreevy Mr. McCreevy
Mr. McCreevy: The following information has been supplied to my Department by the Office of the Information Commissioner. The number of review applications received by the Information Commissioner, and accepted as valid, increased  by 58% between 2002 and 2003, from 585 to 924. During 2003 the Information Commissioner completed reviews in 729 cases compared with 534 cases in 2002, which is an increase of 37%. Of the 729 cases completed in 2003 six were received in 1999; 62 were received in 2000; 81 were received in 2001; 143 were received in 2002 and 437 were received in 2003.
At 31 January 2004 the Information Commissioner had 796 valid reviews on hand. The comparable figure for 31 January 2003 was 622 representing an increase in the on hand figure of 28% as between the two years. The 796 cases on hand are broken down as follows in terms of year of receipt: received in 1999 — two; received in 2000 — 19; received in 2001 — 182; received in 2002 — 130; received in 2003 — 451; and received in 2004 — 12 totalling 796.
Figures are not available as to the average time taken to conclude reviews — appeals. The commissioner is dealing both with applications received as well as with older cases, including some applications received in 2000. Any average figure thus derived would need to be treated with caution. However, the commissioner hopes to be able to give fuller details of case completion time scales in her annual report for 2003.
Dáil Éireann 580 Written Answers Freedom of Information.