From top: Public Expenditure and Reform, Secretary General Robert Watt; Reply to Ken Foxe
Last month, as he has done for years, Journalist Ken Foxe asked through Freedom of Information how much is being paid in lump sums, pensions, or termination pay to former TDs Senators, judges, etc.
He was rebuffed.
Leinster House said under new GDPR rules that the public interest in knowing how/where public money is spent does not outweigh the privacy rights of former public representatives.
Via The Irish Examiner:
Internal emails released by the department show [Public Expenditure and Reform, Secretary General Robert Watt] expressing surprise at the decision and asking why nobody had asked him about it.
Mr Watt had been sent a media report about the case, and wrote: “Who took this decision? I was never consulted …”
In response, an official said:
“We sent note and detail to you on this at the time.” Mr Watt answered back saying: “I don’t understand why we should not release the information.”
An official responded: “The decision not to release the information was made on the basis that it is personal information but the aggregate data was released i.e. the total amounts paid in pensions to ministers.”