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Publication of long-awaited report into Public Services Card needed urgently – Brady

16 January, 2019 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Employment Affairs & Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the Data Protection Commissioner’s report into the Public Services Card (PSC) must be published urgently.

During questions in the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy Brady asked Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to release the report into the Public Services Card (PSC) which has already been shared with her.

Teachta Brady said:

“There was widespread concern following the rejection of a Freedom of Information request seeking the Data Protection Commissioner’s report into the PSC to be published. This request was made by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties following a lengthy investigation by the Data Commissioner which began in October 2017.

“In response to my question, Minister Doherty stated that her Department are responding to concerns raised by the Data Commissioner relating to their report. 

“The Minister made it clear that it is the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner who has requested that the Minister does not discuss the report until correspondence between both parties concludes. Once this happens, the Minister has said that the report will be published. I will be holding her to this commitment.

“There has been far too much secrecy and ambiguity around the PSC since its introduction. This is despite the fact that around €60 million euro of taxpayers’ money has been spent on its roll-out.

“The way in which the PSC was rolled out by Government led to vulnerable people having their social welfare payments stopped and this then forced people to apply for a PSC out of fear of losing their payment. Also, questions on the legal basis for the card need to be answered.” 

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