Monday 22 January 2018

Shane Phelan: Cynical move will only make scandals harder to uncover

Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin
Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin

THE late amendment slipped into the new Freedom of Information Bill is a highly cynical move that sets the campaign for transparency in government back 20 years.

While it will not, as some commentators have said, completely kill the Freedom of Information Act, the proposed amendment won't leave it far from death's door.

For starters, it will be a major deterrent against requests for information by investigative journalists. It will also create another barrier between the public and supposedly publicly available information.

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