Dear Mr McWeeney
I refer to your emails below and contact with my colleague Ciara.
This Department provides general advice and guidance on the processes to FOI.
The head of each FOI body is responsible for the operation of the Act in his/her own organisation, subject to the review and appeals procedures provided for under the Act. Access to information held by a local authority, including information sought under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, is solely a matter for the relevant local authority.
There is a two part appeals process set out in the Act: internal review and external review. The external review process is overseen by the Office of the Information Commissioner which is completely independent of the Government in the performance of its functions and can annul or agree with the decisions of Public Bodies. As such it would be entirely inappropriate for the Department to intervene in a particular case. The only other recourse should someone remain unhappy with a decision is to bring the matter to the Courts and you should seek legal advice if this is something you are considering.