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Micheál Colreavy TD criticises government handling of postcode system

11 June, 2015 - by Michael Colreavy TD

Deputy Michael Colreavy, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, has criticised the government’s approach to implementing a national postcode system.

Speaking on the issue, Deputy Colreavy said:

“The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has projected that the cost to the state of the project will be in the region of €27 million, though other have projected an even higher cost.

“Normally when a project with a technical specification is being carried out, it is attempted to fix a clear problem that has been identified.

“There has been much murmuring from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources about the lack of a postcode system in Ireland but there has yet to be a definitive answer as to what problem Eircode is addressing.

“The question put to several government departments as to the cost of Eircode remains unanswered.

“The Department of Health and the Department of Social Protection for example, will require a large upgrade of their IT systems if they are to assign an Eircode to every file on their database.

“Surely, if you imagine that all the people who are in receipt of payments from the Department of Social Protection, from children’s allowance to pensions, it adds up to quite a significant number.

“If each person on this system must now be allocated with a unique Eircode to their address, it will require a significant updating of the Departments system.

“Digital Rights Ireland believes that the Eircode project, as currently conceived, creates significant privacy and data protection issues.

“The Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association which represents frontline emergency staff also expressed serious concern about Eircode because the system does not identify small local areas.

“The Freight Transportation have raised concerns regarding the Eircode system pointing out that it is only as postal solution, i.e. if a building does not have a letterbox, such as a warehouse or an agricultural unit for example, the Eircode system will be of no use freight carriers.

“There are too many outstanding issues and concerns that must first be addressed by the Minister and the Department before this bill can be passed.” ENDS

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