Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D. speaking at the budget 2020 Press Conference in Government Buildings; Department of Justice press conference this morning
It was thought that when the Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe delivered Budget 2020 yesterday, no increase in funding was announced for the Data Protection Commission – which may soon be facing the State in court.
In light of this, solicitor and data protection expert Simon McGarr tweeted this morning:
“Greyhound racing gets an increase on €16m funding. The entire 100+ staffed DPC office gets €15.2m, no increase.
“For some reason the Dept in charge of the Public Services Card project didn’t increase funding for the regulator, despite huge work increase post-GDPR.”
Irish Independent journalist Hugh O’Connell, at a Department of Justice Budget 2020 press conference this morning, tweetz:
For those asking, the government’s funding for the Data Protection Commissioner’s office is up by €1.6m next year.
Total budget of €16.9m for 2020.
The Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon recently found there is no legal basis for the State demanding the use of the Public Services Card in order to access a range of public services beyond social welfare payments.
Ms Dixon ordered that Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Regina Doherty’s department stop issuing new PSCs, with immediate effect, to people seeking a service outside of her department.
She also ordered that the department delete the supporting documentation – such as utility bills, etc – that the department has retained on the 3.2million card holders.
Ms Doherty is categorical her department will not be complying with these orders and has said the State will challenge the findings of Ms Dixon – in court, if needs be.
Cianan Brennan, in The Irish Examiner, reported:
“The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection did not share the interim adversarial findings of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) regarding the Public Services Card (PSC) with any affected bodies apart from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
This was despite being specifically asked and in a position to do so.”
The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has launched a petition calling for the card to be stopped and for data retained to be deleted.
The petition can be signed here