Seen And Approved By The Minister



Former Environment Minister Phil Hogan was informed as far back as December 2012 that Irish Water had allocated a sum of more than €40m out of which consultants, among others, would be paid.

According to a document obtained by RTÉ’s This Week programme, Mr Hogan signed and approved of the document on 10 December 2012.

That is more than a year before the controversy broke over the spending of tens of millions of euro on consultancy services during the new water utility’s set-up.

Mr Hogan said he did not know that €50m had been spent on consultants when the controversy broke in January of this year.

He expressed concern at the level of spending at the time.

Listen to John Burke and Colm Ó Mongáin discuss the latest revelations on RTÉ Radio One’s This Week here.

Hogan knew of €40m Irish Water consultancy allocation in 2012 (RTÉ News)

Previously: Thicker Than Uisce

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19 thoughts on “Seen And Approved By The Minister

  1. pixel_pimp

    *shock* we were lied to by a politician and member of the ruling party in govt?
    Quelle Surprise.
    But, we keep voting these clowns in, so *no* surprise really. Can’t keep doing the same thing every 5 years and expect a different outcome.

  2. ABM's Bloodied Underwear


    Just some of my thoughts on the Myths/Lies out there regarding Irish Water for anybody that’s interested.

    If you are up to it I would suggest that you also read the Water Services Act 2007/2013 before making up your mind as to what you want to do. Knowledge is power. When all is said and done, it is your choice, regardless of what the Government or Media would have you believe. I hope this will help to dispel a lot fear people have due to lies, myths and half-truths being put out there by vested interest groups.

    Myth 1 – Irish Water now control the supply of water in Ireland.

    No, they don’t. The Act states that the Government have EXTENDED some of the functions of the Water Services Authorities (Councils) to the Water Metering Authority (Irish Water). It’s important to note the word “extended”. Notice it does not say the word “replaced”. So, unless you consent to enter into a contract with Irish Water, the Water Services Authority will still continue to supply you with YOUR water. Irish Water are a “metering” (billing) company.

    Myth 2 – They will cut off my water if I don’t pay/Turn it down to a trickle.

    This is a lie that was put out there by non-other than Mr Phil Hogan. The act PROHIBITS both the Water Services Authority & the Water Metering Authority, either permanently or temporarily, from turning off/down your water in respect to a dwelling. A Dwelling being a place where people live as opposed to another type of premises such as an office where people work (But they can do it if the premises is not a dwelling.) There are various phone calls posted on youtube where Irish Water confirm this to be a fact, and quote “we don’t know why Phil Hogan said that”[regarding turning down the pressure for non-payment].

    Myth 3 – It’s now the law, I have to sign up with Irish Water.

    No, you don’t. You are under no legal obligation to enter into a Treaty with ANY private company against your will. This is the nub of the issue. There is nothing in either the 2007 or 2013 act to COMPEL a private citizen to sign up to Irish Water. Even if there was, it with would run contrary to the Constitution, Irish Consumer Law, and European Law, and would therefore be completely unenforceable (illegal).

    Regardless of what laws the Government pass, you are still a free citizen with Constitutional Rights (to Property, Privacy, and Protest). They cannot pass ANY law that will limit, or remove these rights from you. They only way the could do this is by holding a referendum.

    Again, your consent is required for the scam to work.
    It is not like the Property Tax that was administered by the Office of the Revenue Commissioners. Irish Water are a Private Limited company and have no authority to dip into your finances without your consent.

    Myth 4 – Irish Water is not a Private Company

    While the shares of Irish Water are currently held by the Irish Government, Irish Water is still a private company (Registered No: 530363). Not to mention the fact that we cannot trust that Fine Gael, or any other future Government, will not sell off these shares to Private operators, as they have done in the past with Bord Gais, ESB, Eircom, and AerLingus.

    “We promise not to sell it..” Just like Labours “We promise not to introduce Water Charges”.

    While it is true that it is currently illegal to sell Irish Water, or any part of it, there is nothing stopping this Government, or any future one, from changing the law to MAKE IT LEGAL.
    The 2013 Water Act was signed into law on Christmas Day! What does that tell you?

    Myth 5 – I have to give Irish Water my PPS number

    No, you don’t. Irish Water are now a listed organisation by the Department of Social Protection. This DOES NOT mean that they automatically have access to your PPS number and other details. It simply means that if you sign up to them, YOU are GIVING THEM CONSENT to access, and otherwise use as THEY see fit, your personal, financial, medical and social (PPS) information. Scary isn’t it!

    If you notify Irish Water that you are not their customer, and that you have NO intention of entering into a contract, they cannot access your private information.
    This is important, as you must clearly state your intent.

    Myth 6 – Irish Water will take any money owed from my wages, bank, income, or social welfare

    No, they can’t. In the Water Acts its states that monies can be recovered as a “Simple Contract Debt”. Meaning they would have to take you to court. First, they would have to prove that you are their customer, then, that a contract exists, and that you agreed to the price/T&C’s, and that you are now simply refusing to pay. So, they will claim, you are in breach of said contract. If they cannot establish that a valid contract exists, the case will never go as far as Court! They would have no legal standing!

    No Contract. Simple…

    Myth 7 – The meter is the contract

    No, it is not! When they are putting in the meter, please ensure that you have a sign in your window, or inform the Installer either orally, or in writing, that you are not, and have no intention of becoming, an Irish Water customer, and to refrain from installing a meter.
    If they install the meter anyway, send Irish Water a letter (preferably by registered post) telling them that you are NOT a customer of theirs, and that the meter, or any readings taken from it “will not be construed as a contract either explicit or implied”.

    Also, if you wish, you may advise Irish Water that the meter will be considered abandoned property, whether its on public or private land, it is connected to your house, and that they have 21 days to remove the device or you will remove it, and destroy it, “without prejudice or liability” (this last bit means they cannot charge you for the cost of the meter if you remove it or destroy it).

    Myth 8 – My landlord can force me to sign up

    No, s/he can’t. A landlord (or Letting Agency for that matter) has NO business, or legal authority, to ask you for your PPS details and they certainly CANNOT sign you into a private contract with a third party without your consent. No more than I could sign any of you up to a Credit Card company, because, well, I said so! And so what if they have clauses in the lease agreement stating that they can? They cannot enter any term or condition in the lease agreement that would deprive you of your legal rights, as a citizen or as a consumer.
    While the PRTB are asking landlords/letting agencies to gather PPS numbers to register tenants, it turns out that this little practice is entirely ILLEGAL!

    Myth 9 – Irish Water will pay to fix problems on my property (once off)

    Reports are coming in from all over Ireland to say that Irish Water are already reneging on this. People are posting online that they have to pay to get their driveways dug up to fix large leaks, because the issue is on “their property” and therefore not the responsibility of Irish Water!

    People, you have the law on your side. Use it wisely!

    —- I have decided not to consent to become a customer of Irish
    Water, now what?

    Well, that’s a fantastic question. At the time of writing, no organisation has responded to this question for me. On Irish Water’s website it states that if you do not return a completed application pack you are not their customer. So for you, it’s business as usual.
    You will still get your water via your current supplier, the Water Services Authority (Council). There is a reason why the Government, and Irish Water, as well as other groups will not answer this question, it is because IT’S ALL PART OF THE SCAM.

    “Sign-up, or else”
    “Or else what?”
    “Nothing, your were supposed to just sign up!”

    Finally, I hope you can see by now that for the Great Water Scam of 2014 to work – You have to CONSENT.
    Without your consent nothing can happen, so don’t give it!

    Thanks James for this.. Great work.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      Thanks for this…. if this is all true, I just bin the pack that came in last Friday or send it back.

      Will this not just end like the time I held back on the LPT and just ended up paying it + a small fine…. I imagine it will.

      1. ahyeah

        I quite like the Freeman of the Land angle on things… but it doesn’t work. I’m not clever enough to determine if this is it or something more substantive. Either way, though, there doesn’t seem to be any penalties or fines or other negatives included… so I don’t see any point in rushing into completing and submitting the form.

    2. Hosannah in the Hiace

      well your landlord has you PPS number for the PRTB so that’s one hole in a very holey FB post

    3. Barry the Hatchet

      “Unless you consent to enter into a contract with Irish Water, the Water Services Authority will still continue to supply you with YOUR water. Irish Water are a “metering” (billing) company.”

      Nope. Over the next few years, Irish Water is gradually going to take over full responsibility for all water services, not just billing. At present you still receive your water from the Council, but not for much longer.

      “The act PROHIBITS both the Water Services Authority & the Water Metering Authority, either permanently or temporarily, from turning off/down your water in respect to a dwelling.”

      Also nope. The Act prohibits Irish Water from cutting off your water supply altogether, but not from reducing it.

  3. Original Cynical

    Points above explain Irish Water’s desperate haste to actually get us to “sign up” – how much is their blanket advertising alone costing?

    1. thecitizen

      Less than the pension obligations for their employees unfortunately. Throw in the consultants and there might be a few bob left to actually provide some water.

  4. Odis

    Enda Kenny reassured his European betters, that he was sending them out, a good man in Hogan. Presumably, they had read about Hogan, being an electoral embarrasment, who needed ditching. And wondered about Kenny’s slight of hand.
    Kenny replied that Hogan was, “a man who didn’t mind taking unpopular decisions”.
    By which I presume he meant, that Hogan was prepared to relieve the public of money, to pay back German bankers.

    And yet here we see painted, the portrait of a man, who casually flings millions at the nations consultants.

    Public scrooge, or Phil “Loadsamoney”? Nothing seems consistent, with him.

  5. Louis Lefronde

    Expect the ‘Sir Humphrey excuse’ to come next. This is when a Minister’s table is stacked high with briefs, and the Minister merely ‘signs off’ on them without properly reading through the fine print.

    Regarding consultants fees – greater scrutiny of the large accountancy, law firms and IT suppliers are required. From my knowledge there’s a fair bit of ‘pulling a figure out of their a**e’ – going on when it comes to billing Government department agencies. Most people in the private sector know that the Civil Service is populated by financial illiterates, a significant proportion of whom are inept – and who never question or challenge the fees which are submitted.

    I never recall a fee note delivered to a government department or quango in recent years being sent back to the service provider telling them they overcharged.

  6. Mr. T.

    Europe will love Hogan because he plays the game. In other words, he has no regard for the public or the correct democratic processes.

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