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Anglo Irish Bank eligible for EIR requests

Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalised in January 2009, is eligible for environmental information requests, said the Irish Commissioner for Environmental Information, Emily O’Reilly.

Although the bank had refused requests in the past on the basis that it is not a public body, the Commissioner believes otherwise. According to her, a company in which all the shares are directly held by a Minister of the Government, should be considered a public authority.

As the Irish Times reported, O’Reilly’s decision might mean the bank will be obliged to reveal environmental information on issues such as mileage and travel expenses.

The revelations followed a request for information by Dublin-based journalist Gavin Sheridan under the environmental law.

In the UK under the FoIA and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) 2004 and their Scottish equivalents, a company that belongs solely to a Minister of the Crown, is indeed to be considered a public authority.

Sheffield Council one of the worst to aid the homeless

Just 312 of the 2,375 appeals by homeless or people threatened with homelessness to Sheffield Council’s refusals to provide the accommodation were successful, a FoIA request revealed. The figures that refer to the period between 2006 and 2011, also indicate that only 6,161 of the 19,742 applications for housing were approved, a proportion that is much lower than the national average of 42 per cent, as the Star reports.

The Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Justice, less likely to comply with FoIA requests

A list with the quarterly FoIA statistics for central government, referring to the period between April and June 2011, shows the Cabinet Office is the worst to meet the 20 working day deadline for requests and during that period only 48 per cent out of the 349 requests were answered. The percents for the MoD and MoJ are 76 and 75 respectively, with the Department of Health being the best public body to reply FoIA requests with a 99 per cent out of the 417 applications receiving an answer.

London murder victims data released

The full list of over 800 London murder victims during the last five years has been published as a result of an FoIA request. The list is available on Metropolitan Police’s website and Guardian’s datablog.

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