Council must reveal deal with Ryanair

Via the Press Association report. The Information Tribunal has given Derry City Council 30 days to reveal the details of the deal between the Council and RyanAir for the airline’s use of the rate-payer funded City of Derry Airport

The ruling by the Information Tribunal follows a two-year fight by airport owners Derry City Council against a Freedom of Information request.

From the PA report

The decision is being seen as precedent-setting and could have major implications for public bodies throughout the UK doing business with private enterprises.

Council chiefs refused to hand over details of how much Ryanair was paying for use of the ratepayer-funded airport when asked by a journalist in January 2005.

The case went before the Information Commissioner who ruled in February last after a year-long examination of the arguments the details must be disclosed.

The Council fought the decision in an appeal to the Information Tribunal which sat in Northern Ireland for the first time in October to hear the appeal.

In a 30-page ruling, the three-panel tribunal dismissed the appeal and has given the Council 30 days from yesterday to disclose the deal.

It said Freedom of Information Act exemptions claimed by the council did not apply and disagreed the local authority would be vulnerable to a claim for breach of confidence.

The council has until next month to appeal this decision to the High Court on a point of law.