Similar in nature to the earlier NAMA decision, the Commissioner for Environmental Information today ruled that Anglo Irish Bank (now known as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation) is a public authority for the purposes of the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR). It relates to requests I submitted to the Bank in February 2010, which the bank had refused on the basis that it claimed it was not a public authority within the meaning of the Regulations.
The decision means that the Bank is now open to requests under the Regulations, allowing citizens to submit requests for environmental information.
IT DOES NOT MEAN ANGLO IS SUBJECT TO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION REQUESTS.
Apologies for the caps but the two are often confused. Again a huge thanks to Fred Logue who provided huge assistance in drafting submissions in relation to this case.
As the Regulations are little used, what defines environmental information has yet to be broadly defined but it could encompass a very broad range of information. For an easy way to get an idea of what environmental information could include, take a look at this UK guidance booklet and the UK version of the same legislation. Also take a look at Decision Notices in the UK in relation to EIR. Previous decisions by our Commissioner for Enviromental Information are available here, while the Irish guidance notes are here.
Interestingly, the Bank also took the view that our reading of the legislation was “absurd”. This is the decision in full: