You may take his life.
But you will never take his FREEDOM (of Information).
Journalist Ken Foxe writes:
The Department of Public Expenditure has published a full list of all special adviser salaries on their website.
There are a handful of cases where people have jumped up the salary scale beyond the point that they should normally start as reported previously.
There are also a couple of instances where individuals are above the scale altogether, mostly because of pre-existing deals.
However, it is worth pointing out that the costs here are well down from 2011.
And I would like to think that had something to do with the long series of FOI-based stories about salary cap breaches in those early days of the Fine Gael & Labour coalition, including this story I did on the negotiations for one adviser Ciaran Conlon and his €127,000 salary.
Again, I think we are seeing here one of the subtle but clear benefits of Freedom of Information where there is an obvious reluctance now by Ministers to get involved in making “business cases” to break salary caps.
The agreement that special advisers could be placed anywhere on the salary scale seems to me to be a halfway measure designed to give some wriggle room and at the same time not have emails and letters floating around demanding six-figure salaries.
So we now have a much lower annual pay bill and those savings will continue for however long the current government lasts … mostly thanks to our Freedom of Information Act.