The FOI Fighters



We asked you to tell us what YOU wanted to know about Irish Water (under the Freedom of Information Act).

You answered in your dozens.

After much brooding and deliberation/tay-slurping…

The matter which excited most curiosity (Fluffy Biscuits, Clampers, MacGafraidh, Jimmythehead) was the circumstances in which GMC/Sierra, of the Denis O’Brien owned SiteServ group, came to obtain two regional contracts for the management of the installation of water meters. We have framed a request for copies of these and other regional contracts awarded, documentation submitted by both successful and unsuccessful bidders in the tender process leading up to same, as well as records of payments requested and made under the contracts.

Another area of concern (Greylines, GavD) was that of use and protection of private data submitted by consumers to Irish Water, and in particular whether or not this would be retained in the State. We have framed a further request with a view to finding out as much as we can about this process.

Finally, in view of the fact that Irish Water is subject to the supervision of the Commission for Energy Regulation, we agreed with commenter Mike that an overview of documentation submitted to the Commissioner, and the Commissioner’s response, might yield some interesting information. This request includes, but is not confined to, salary and benefit schemes for Irish Water staff.

The suggestion by ‘Edalicious’ that we find out when Irish Water will be implementing the “nationwide system of pipes to plumb Ribena directly into houses” will be forwarded at a later date.

We will now request access to the following records:

(i) The regional contracts entered into between Irish Water and GMC Sierra, J Murphy and Sons Limited and Coffey Northumbrian Limited respectively for the management of the installation of water meters in six regions throughout Ireland, together with the preceding invitation to tender in respect of the said contracts and all documentation received from both successful and unsuccessful parties pursuant to same, all payment invoices submitted by GMC Sierra, J Murphy and Sons Limited and Coffey Northumbrian Limited for payment pursuant to the said contracts, together with copies of all records of payments made to same to date.

(ii) All plans, guidelines, proposals, protocols and contracts relating to the compilation, analysis, protection and storage of private customer data (names, addresses, family composition and PPS numbers) submitted by customers to Irish Water, including without prejudice to the foregoing any plans, guidelines, proposals, protocols and contracts relating to the compilation, analysis, protection and storage of such data by persons (including companies) situate outside the State.

(iii) All plans, proposals and schemes submitted by Irish Water to the Regulator and/or Commission for Energy Regulation, together with responses received from the Regulator/Commission in relation to same, including, without prejudice to the foregoing, details of all employee salary and benefit schemes so submitted.

We will post the findings from Irish Water as we get them

Thanks all.

Previously: Win Your Freedom

Contains Impurities: The Irish Water Timeline

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43 thoughts on “The FOI Fighters

  1. My Daddy is bigger than Yours

    A shame you didn’t tender yourselves. I would have given an insight into an actual tendering process.

    Of course that would involve getting your hands dirty and :shock: doing some actual work.

  2. Hosannah in the Hiace

    amateur hour interweb journalism.

    pick up the phone and speak with the losing bidders.

    ZOMG the FOI was denied!!! no company is in the habit of giving away tender details. it is commercially sensitive.

  3. Buzz

    Well done Broadsheet! Hell will freeze over before they get my PPS number. And I think they’ll find it’s unconstitutional to deny my allowance on the basis of refusal to supply it.

    1. will-billy

      possible yea. but i doubt it. judiciary do not tend to interfere with executive function. which natural or constitutional right of yours is being broken by them asking for your pps to claim the allowance?

  4. Gers

    WOW. Is BS finally turning into a real proper journalistic investigating news site? Im chuffed. We need this in Ireland badly. Or will they fold AGAIN if DOB shoves his boots in?

  5. Skepp

    Anyone with even the most basic understanding of FOI would tell you this is a stupid, hopeless, request, regardless of the body receiving it. It will probably, rightly, be refused in full. Waste of Broadsheet’s time, Irish Water’s time, and your readers’ time.

    Foolish, misinformed, stuff altogether. I look forward to an outraged post in four weeks time when you get the response letter – THEY REFUSED US IT MUST HAVE BEEN DOB’s MATES NOT WANTIN’ US TO KNOW NOTHIN’.

    Although the attempt at proper journalism is welcome all the same, if cringeworthily executed.

    1. Bodger

      Donny: “Are these the Nazis, Walter?”
      Walter Sobchak: “No, Donny, these men are nihilists, there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

      The Big Lebowski

    2. Chuckenstein

      Agree on the waste of time point but it’s Friday, did you need to give BS a kick in the knackers?!

    3. will-billy

      be quiet you idiot. if you wanna do activism do it instead of crapping on about the commendable initiative shown by these great folks

  6. Louis Lefronde

    And if they refuse on the grounds of Commercial Sensitivity…an FOI request of the minutes and all internal communications and meetings leading up to and including the decision to refuse release of information on the grounds of commercial sensitivity…

    If anything, it will annoy the b****ks out of them!

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