C: iQoncept / Shutterstock

Dáil to debate Bill that will see pension payments to retired Ministers and Presidents open to FOI 

The Dáil is set to debate The Freedom of Information (Amendment) Bill 2021 next Thursday. 

The Bill was initially introduced in September by two opposition TD’s who described the existing FOI framework as being in a state of ‘crisis.’

The Bill seeks to bring information relating to the pension payments to retired Taoisigh, Ministers and Presidents that are paid out of current expenditure, back within the remit of the Freedom of Information Act.

It was previously the case that a detailed breakdown of former Taoisigh’s pensions, allowances and supports was published by the Department of Finance on its website.

However, the Government ended the practice in 2017, following a decision by the Office of the Information Commissioner that GDPR privacy concerns outweighed the public’s right to know details of this kind.

It has been estimated that between 2017 and 2019 over €28 million was paid in pension entitlements alone to former Ministers.

The Bill that is due to be debated next week will also seek to ensure that where a company (within the meaning of the Companies Acts), or other body, becomes a public body, then it will be immediately brought under the FOI Act and there will be no period up to six months before it is brought under.

According to the proposers of the Bill this will ensure that there is no gap in coverage of the new Land Development Agency that has a budget of €2.5 billion.

At the same time, Section 22 of the Private Members Bill will seek to increase accountability by allowing the Information Commissioner to refer a complaint to the Standards in Public Office Commission for investigation, if a designated person is deemed to have intentionally or recklessly failed to fulfil their obligations in a material respect.

The TD’s sponsoring the Bill are Mairéad Farrell and Sorca Clarke.

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

The biggest problem Ireland faces right now is:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...