From top: Julie Sinnamon, CEO of Enterprise Ireland; A Lexus IS300h
Ken Foxe, a freelance journalist and assistant lecturer at Dublin Institute of Technology, has obtained documents under the Freedom of Information Act, which show the CEO of Enterprise Ireland Julie Sinnamon was wrongly given a company car.
The car was a Lexus IS300h – a model which has a starting price of €37,950.
Government policy, since the end of 2011, states that cars should not be provided to CEOs of non-commercial State agencies.
The documents obtained by Mr Foxe also show the Department of Enterprise and Innovation defended the decision to include the provision of the car in Ms Sinnamon’s contract – while admitting it should have sought sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform – and even asked that Ms Sinnamon be allowed to continue using the car.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform refused to sanction the provision of the car and requested that Ms Sinnamon’s contract be amended to remove the reference to the provision of a car.
In a letter, dated March 4, 2015, Philip Kelly, assistant secretary of EU Affairs, Trade Policy & Corporate Services at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation, wrote to Oonagh Buckley, assistant secretary at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, to explain that the situation arose following a ‘breakdown in communication’.
In her reply refusing to sanction the car, Ms Buckley explained that if she was to do so, others would make similar requests.
Meanwhile, Mr Foxe has also obtained a PowerPoint presentation which was created by Oireachtas staff for the Oireachtas Commission.
It concerned Ireland’s Freedom of Information legislation and how, since amendments were made to the FOI Act last year, there has been a five-fold increase in requests.
The slides show that, following this increase, the Government wants to start publishing details of politicians’ salaries, pensions and expenses, etc., in a manner of its choosing, as opposed to leaving it up to the media.
As part of the presentation, The Communications Clinic – run by Terry Prone and Anton Savage – was flagged as an example of previous FOI requests received:
There you go now.
Thanks Ken Foxe