| 6.5°C Dublin

'New data rules to wrap us up in red tape' - councillors

Close

Council boss Owen Keegan

Council boss Owen Keegan

Council boss Owen Keegan

Dublin city councillors are up in arms over new GDPR (general data protection regulation) procedures, which they say will diminish their jobs.

New regulations issued in a memo by Dublin City Council (DCC) include instructions to local representatives on how they can obtain personal information for their constituents.

Consent forms must be signed by the constituent in question before any personal information can be released.

Housing

An example of the new process in practice would be if a constituent asks their local councillor to find out where they are on the housing list.

For the councillor to receive that information, they must have a one-page consent form filled out and signed by the constituent.

However, DCC chief executive Owen Keegan has said the person concerned will still be able to get hold of this data without written consent.

"When you do not provide the council with written consent, the council will write directly to the person in respect of whom the representation was made acknowledging your representation on their behalf and responding to it," he said.

"The council will write to you confirming that a response has been issued to the person concerned."

The reaction from councillors has been particularly negative towards the plans, which Mr Keegan wants to have in place by January.

A number of representatives say the new regulations are taking GDPR too far.

Fianna Fail councillor Tom Brabazon told the Herald: "It's going to totally wrap people up in red tape."

"It's going to make our job completely impossible to do," he added.

Independent councillor Mannix Flynn said it was an attempt to "control" councillors.

However, in his lengthy memo on the issue, Mr Keegan said the process was "designed to safeguard both the council and elected members in our mutual handling of personal data".

It is understood that the same rules do not necessarily apply to all councils across the country.

The Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) said it was up to individual local authority what procedures they put in place.


Privacy