Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach

General Scheme of the Protected Disclosures (Amendment) Bill 2021: Discussion

Photo of Peadar TóibínPeadar Tóibín (Meath West, Aontú) | Oireachtas source

I thank the witnesses very much for coming in and for all the work they have done for the State and the people over the years. It is greatly appreciated. I have been listening intently to the evidence they have been giving. I have experience of working with people who have produced and submitted protected disclosures. The organisations involved were everything the National Museum of Ireland to the Defence Forces to the Prisons Service. A couple of things strike me. One is that the whole process is not very transparent, even for an elected representative trying to find out whether a protected disclosure was submitted, what its status is, has a decision been made on it, etc. Thus there seems to be a problem with transparency there. The people who submit the protected disclosure have a significant problem with transparency. They do not receive information on how long the process is going to be or who is going to be talking to them. They might only have a conversation with one person over a period of years. Even making the process of the protected disclosure more transparent to its author and to elected representatives on his or her behalf would add light and maybe help the process, would it not? That question is for anyone who wants to answer it.


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