Thursday, November 04, 2004

Irish Case- Mr. John Burns and the North Eastern Health Board

This complex case posted on the Irish IC site today may be of interest in showing a complex exemption case relating to duty of confidence under the Irish Act, whilst there are some differences in the exemption wording to our Act and the DP interface is under one umbrella in Ireland it does serve as a useful example of how exemptions can be applied and appealed. The Irish IC makes the following statement relating to use of the duty of confidence exemption: "it will not amount to a general conclusion that public bodies cannot expect to have confidentiality clauses upheld where records are sought under the FOI Act." the decision was "The Commissioner annulled the decision of the Board and directed instead that all of the records identified as within the scope of the request should be released to the requester"..... will be interesting to see if the IC here takes a similar line.

Mr. John Burns and the North Eastern Health Board
Request for details of out-of-court settlement of an employment dispute involving Board and senior hospital consultant - whether release would have adverse effect on functions relating to management - section 21(1)(b) - whether release would disclose positions taken for the purposes of negotiations - section 21(1)(c) - whether records protected by legal professional privilege - section 22(1)(a) - whether release would constitute a contempt of court - section 22(1)(b) - whether release would prejudice or impair the enforcement of, compliance with, or administration of any law - section 23(1)(a)(ii) - whether release would constitute a breach of a contractual duty of confidence - section 26(1)(b) - whether release could result in a material financial loss or prejudice the competitive position of a person in conduct of business - section 27(1)(b) - whether release could prejudice contractual or other negotiations - section 27(1)(c) - whether release would involve disclosure of personal information - section 28(1) - whether public interest better served by release than by refusal - section 21(2), section 27(3) and section 28(5)(a).

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