Journalist and lecturer Ken Foxe, founder of investigative news site Noteworthy, sought details of the pensions paid to all former constitutional/ministerial/judicial office holders in 2017 and 2018.
But the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform refused to give Mr Foxe a detailed breakdown – saying the individuals’ right to privacy outweighed the public interest.
Instead, the department released the total amount paid and the number of people within each group who received pensions (see tables above for amounts paid in 2017 and 2018).
Mr Foxe is reporting that that this is the first time the State has refused to give a detailed breakdown of the pensions paid.
He’s also reporting that, up until 2016, details of how much former taoisigh, presidents, and ministers “were published as a matter of routine on the Department of Finance website” but this ended in 2017 due to GDPR rules.
Mr Foxe will be appealing the decision.
€28 million in pension payments to former TDs, Senators and government ministers over the past two years (Noteworthy)
Previously: Must be Mounted On A Crucifix
Jacking Up The Price Of Freedom
“We have launched a petition to urge the government to launch an investigation on what happened with the 800 bodies found in Tuam…”
Meanwhile, in Australia…
Bodies of 800 children, long-dead, found in septic tank at former Irish home for unwed mothers (TheAge)
TheStory.ie is a crowd-funded investigative website run by journalists Gavin Sheridan (who co-founded the site with Mark Coughlan) and Ken Foxe and lawyer Fred Logue that sources Freedom of Information documents.
It has obtained a mass of unseen data since it began four years ago, funded by public donations.
As time went on we developed new techniques for seeking data rather than paper, techniques to obtain large amounts of information with a single request, included billions of euro of previously undisclosed public expenditure. We have trained journalists in Ireland, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Spain.
However, proposed changes to the funding of FOI requests (including a raft of hidden charges) could spell their end.
We’ve had sight of new amendments to the FOI Bill 2013 proposed by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform [above].
We will be blunt: if passed, Freedom of Information is dead. TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime.
We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights.
READ ON: Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland (Gavin Sheridan, TheStory.ie)