Paschal Donohoe, then Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, launches the Public Services Card (PSC) in 2016
It’s being reported that the Department of Employment and Social Protection is refusing to release information with regard to an investigation by the Data Protection Commission into the legality of the public services card.
The request for information was made by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
In addition, the DPC has confirmed to The Irish Times that the DPC doesn’t intend to publish its report in full.
Instead it will publish a summary of its findings.
Elaine Edwards, in The Irish Times, reports:
A request from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties to the department asking it to release an interim investigation report by the commission into the card and connected projects has been rejected, on grounds that releasing it could reveal the department’s plans or have a significant adverse affect on its functions.
The ICCL call comes as the final stage of Government legislation which will allow wider sharing of personal data with organisations and agencies is set to be debated in the Dáil on Tuesday.
ICCL director Liam Herrick called for “full transparency on the legal basis for the public services card because it violates the privacy and data protection rights of people living in Ireland.
“We have been campaigning against its introduction because it’s unnecessary, costly, and of questionable efficacy – and it targets in particular economically vulnerable people, such as those dependant on social welfare. Further, it is deeply troubling that the Government has continued to roll the card out for essential services while a question hangs over its legality,” he said.
Ms Edwards also reported that the DPC sent the department “a draft confidential report” in recent months for comment and that this report contains “13 provisional findings on issues spanning legal basis to transparency matters”.
Further to this…
Solicitor Simon McGarr has tweeted his thoughts on the matter…
Nurse Polly has also tweeted her experience of having to get a card.
The threat to Children’s allowance payments was in letters but then removed from letters sent immediately pre-election.
It was just that- a threat.
— Simon McGarr (@Tupp_Ed) January 14, 2019
Previously: Thank You, Nurse Polly