AIE Request – 13/21
I refer to the request made by you dated 8th December 2021 under the European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 to 2018 (S.I. No. 133 of 2007, S.I. No. 662 of 2011, S.I. 615 of 2014 and S.I. No. 309 of 2018) (hereafter referred to as the AIE Regulations) for access to information held by LAWPRO:
“· Under the AIE Regs to request
- – membership of each (of 5) Regional Water and Environment Management Committees, and Regional Operational Committees
- – schedule/dates of meetings of each committee
- – agendas of meetings
- – minutes of meetings
- – reports submitted to and/or commissioned, or presented in meetings to/by each Regional Water and Environment Management Committee, and Regional Operational Committee
- For the purposes of this AIE please include the period 2019 to 2021
- Note: existence of the committees is noted in https://lawaters.ie/regional-committees/ and also in recent CAP submissions https://thewaterforum.ie/app/uploads/2021/12/Water-Forum-Submission-on-CAP-Public-Consultation.pdf”
I refer to previous correspondence to you dated 17th December 2021, which stated:
Because of the volume and complexity of information required, the Council determines it cannot respond within a one-month timeframe, i.e., not later than 7th January 2022. Instead, a response will be emailed to you not later than 7th February 2022.
Furthermore, depending on the overall resources necessary to supply the information requested, there may be a charge to be paid by you. The Council will notify you regarding same once the position has been established.
Summary of Decision
On 3rd February 2022, I made a decision on your request under the AIE Regulations. Having considered the time and resources involved in the search, retrieval, examination, and supply of such a large volume and range of records, I consider your request is manifestly unreasonable and would place an unreasonable demand on LAWPRO’s resources to cause a substantial and unreasonable interference with the work of LAWPRO and its ability to perform its core functions. Therefore, having regard to Article 9(2) (a) of the AIE Regulations, I refuse your request.
It is, and always has been, the intention of LAWPRO to publish records relating to the Regional Water and Environment Management Committees, and Regional Operational committees, inclusive of meetings agendas and minutes. These will be made available in due course on LAWPRO’s website http://www.lawaters.ie
Public interest test
Furthermore, in accordance with Article 10(3) and 10(4) I have weighed the public interest served by disclosure against the interest served by refusal of your request. I have determined that the public interest would not be served by disclosing the information you request,as set out hereunder:
While the public interest may be served by releasing the records, in terms of openness and transparency, LAWPRO has obligations under the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021 and will have further obligations under the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2022-2027 (currently at Draft stage). Thus, the time and resources involved in this case would have a significant adverse effect on the delivery of services to the people of Ireland, specifically in regards the role and functions of the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) as a nationwide local authority shared service.
Right of review
Under Article 11 of the AIE Regulations, you have a right to request an internal review of this decision. An internal review involves a complete reconsideration of the matter by a member of the staff of LAWPRO unconnected with the original decision, of the same or higher rank than the original decision-maker, who may affirm, vary, or annul the original decision.
If you wish to request an internal review, you can do so by writing to AIE Officer by email to email@example.com, referring to this decision, quoting the AIE reference number. This request must be made within one month of the date of receipt of this decision. The decision of an internal review will be communicated to you within one month of receipt of your request for an internal review to be carried out.
AIE Decision Maker, LAWPRO
052 616 6237
Membership of Regional Management Committees