Michael Staines
Michael Staines

14.59 18 Aug 2019


Share this article


Two Government departments are to be brought before the Public Accounts Committee over the Public Services Card Controversy.

It comes after a major investigation by the Data Protection Commission found that the State’s use of the card is illegal.

In recent years, an increasing number of Government departments and State agencies have been demanding the card before granting access to their services.

The report found that the Department of Social Protection (DSP) is the only department with the right to do so.

It also found that it is holding on to too much personal data for too long and criticised the DSP over the information it provided to the public about the card.

Public Accounts Committee

The Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon is due to outline her findings to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on September 26th.

Committee chairman Sean Fleming told Newstalk that officials from the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Expenditure and Reform will follow soon after.

He said the committee will consider the full report and question Ms Dixon on her reasons for issuing it.

He said he can see the value in having a social services card – but accused the Government of acting dishonestly rolling it out.

“The Government always intended it to be a national ID card but they never admitted and they snuck it in through the back door through the Department of social Protection,” he said.

“Every Government Department is using these now without proper authorisation in many cases.

“We are going to have bring in not just the Department of Social Protection but also the Department of Expenditure and Reform – because they are responsible for the entire public service and this is across the all the public services, it is not just one department.”

Public Services Card

There are concerns the controversy could end up costing the State millions in legal fees – with the potential for class action law-suits if the project is found to be in breach of European GDPR data protection laws.

The State has been given 21 days to delete data that it should not have held on to.

The DPC report found that the department is entitled to keep basic information like name, age and gender - but must delete the documentation submitted to prove those details once it is satisfied a person is who they say they are.

Meanwhile, the Government has six weeks to come up with a plan to make changes to the wider Public Services Card scheme.


Share this article


Read more about

Department Of Expenditure And Reform Department Of Social Protection Public Accounts Committee Public Services Card

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Down To Business With Bobby Ke...

Down To Business With Bobby Kerr

10:00-12:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

12:00-13:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

13:00-17:00

Share

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

TECH TALK WITH JESSICA KELLY

17:00-18:00

Share

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

SCREENTIME WITH JOHN FARDY

18:00-19:00

Share

TED RADIO HOUR

TED RADIO HOUR

19:00-20:00

Share

BETWEEN THE LINES WITH ANDREA...

BETWEEN THE LINES WITH ANDREA GILLIGAN

20:00-21:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

21:00-22:00

Share

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

BEST OF THE PAT KENNY SHOW

22:00-23:00

Share

BEST OF THE HARD SHOULDER

BEST OF THE HARD SHOULDER

23:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-07:00

Share

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWST...

DOCUMENTARY AND DRAMA ON NEWSTALK

07:00-08:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN...

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST WITH SUSAN KEOGH

08:00-09:00

Share

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE M...

ALIVE AND KICKING WITH CLARE MCKENNA

09:00-10:00

Share

TAKING STOCK WITH VINCENT WALL

TAKING STOCK WITH VINCENT WALL

10:00-11:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on