Right to Know submission on environmental regulations raises concerns over long delays, excessive fees and absence of any sanction for failing to deal with requests properly

The Department of the Environment has published a full list of the submissions it received as part of its ongoing review of the Access to Information on the Environment (AIE) Regulations.

These regulations have been a point of emphasis for Right to Know in recent years as we have tried to push the boundaries of what information citizens can obtain, and from whom.

Our submission, which is posted below, focuses on some of the key issues we have identified through our work in recent years.

These include:

  • long delays in dealing with cases.
  • the abolition of fees for appeal.
  • greater powers and resources for the Office of the Commissioner for Environmental Information.
  • some form of sanction for delays and maladministration.

There are also a list of submissions from other public bodies, including various government departments and city councils.

Somewhat perplexingly, the “industry” section includes the likes of Coillte, the daa, ESB, and Bórd na Móna.

These are all semi-state entities and are already fully subject to requests for information under the AIE Regulations in case anybody was in doubt.