‘Not In The Public Interest’


From top: Public Service Card; Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty TD

This morning.

Via Irish Examiner:

In refusing the request, the department cited five reasons, each of which has been disputed by [lawyer] Mr [TJ] McIntyre:

The report is exempt from Freedom of Information;

releasing it would have a significant adverse effect on the department’s management of operational matters;

the report’s findings are exempted under legal professional privilege;

releasing it would “impair” compliance with the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005;

and doing so would have a serious adverse effect on the ability of the Government to manage the financial interests of the State.

The Irish Examiner asked the department why it appeared to be contradicting Ms Doherty in refusing to release the report. The department “has outlined its reasoning for the decision”, said a spokesperson, adding the decision is open to appeal.

In her findings in the contentious report, Ms Dixon mandated that the department of Social Protection must delete 3.2m historical records held on cardholders, and stated that the processing of data using the PSC for state services other than welfare is unlawful.

Department: Not in public interest to release PSC report (Irish Examiner)


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24 thoughts on “‘Not In The Public Interest’

  1. eoin

    If you want to appeal a decision by a public body to refuse to grant your Freedom of Information request, who do you appeal to?

      1. Joe Small

        First there is an internal appeal within the public body and after that, if you’re still not happy, the Information Commissioner. Then its the High Court, I think.

          1. Cian

            The DPC wrote the report.

            The DPC also “gave” Regina seven days to publish it.

            I believe the DPC oversteped their authority and have no right to “give” a minister a deadline to publish reports. This is totally outside their remit.

            Now, if you think the DPC has a right to demand the publication can you provide any evidence/laws that gives them this power?

    1. Medium Sized C

      I think you are missing the point here.

      Regina Doherty wants to release it.
      The Department don’t.

      You are doing exactly as you are expected, though.
      Blaming politicians for the actions of the Departments.
      It is irrelevant what party the minister is from, this is the departments doing.

      1. Batty Brennan

        Have you seen evidence to support that view? Evidence that the minister has directed the release of the report, and that DEASP officials are defying her instruction?

          1. Batty Brennan

            May I ask for your indulgence? Please point out any evidence (not opinion) that the minister has directed DEASP to release the report.

          2. Medium Sized C

            I didn’t say that the minister directed release of the report.
            Do you have evidence that the minister was NOT in favour of releasing the report?

          3. Batty Brennan

            Your claim:
            “Regina Doherty wants to release it.
            The Department don’t.”

            My response:
            Evidence please?

        1. Medium Sized C

          Oh and of course there is the now 100 year old tradition of managing the country through unaccountable Civil Service departments.

  2. Cian

    There is no contradiction.

    The department is refusing to release the report under FOI and listed reasons why.
    Doherty has said she plans to publish the report.

    These are not mutually exclusive.

  3. curmudgeon

    Ever notice there’s always a picture of the politician and never the civil servant in charge? Maybe Broadsheet could do us all a favour and name and shame the (unaccountable and usually pseudonymous) civil servant ressponsible instead of lazily tagging whomever is the minister of the day.

  4. Joe Small

    “Well, it is not in my interest. And I represent the public, so it is not in the public interest.”

    – Minister Jim Hacker, Yes Minister

  5. Hector Ramirez

    Welfare Fraud… if we could get rid of it, it’d be great.

    But unfortunately, Regina must have something on Leo to be kept around after this. But it takes one to know one I guess.

Comments are closed.

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