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Written Answers — Overseas Development Aid: Overseas Development Aid (27 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: For 2011, the Government has provided an overall allocation for Official Development Assistance (ODA) of €669 million. Of this total, €534 million will be administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and a further estimated €135 million will come from other Government Departments, including Ireland's share of the EU Development Cooperation budget. The 2011 allocation ensures our...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: While I understand the motivation behind the amendment, section 6 provides that where a member of the Garda Síochána not below the rank of chief superintendent - this is a significant point - makes a disclosure request to a service provider, the request must be made in writing. However, in cases of exceptional urgency a request may be dealt with orally and where such a request is made, it...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: As I am not aware that this would be a criminal offence, the issue does not arise. Section 6 enables the Garda Síochána to request service providers to disclose retained data. The amendment seeks to include a new subsection to provide that a service provider which inadvertently disclosed data that purported to be in accordance with the new regulation but which was not, or which provided...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: I cannot accept the amendment. The request for the disclosure of data retained can be made only in limited circumstances relating to serious crime by a chief superintendent. They include the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of serious offences, the safeguarding of the security of the State and the saving of human life, as well as the prevention, detection and...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: The purpose of this amendment is to delete section 7 and replace it with a new section which, in essence, seeks to limit the responsibility of service providers to co-operate with the disclosure request. Before the introduction of a statutory scheme, the then service providers made data available to the Garda on request when required for criminal investigations and safeguarding the security...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: I understand the intention behind this proposed amendment but I refer the Senator to Article 10 of the EU directive whereby member states are required to submit statistics to the European Commission concerning the operation of the directive and this is provided for in section 9. In essence, this section requires the compilation of certain statistics for submission to the European Commission...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: This goes to the heart of the legislation, the successful and efficient prosecution of serious offences, including terrorist offences, which increasingly in recent examples, including the Omagh bomb, point to the fact that the ability to use data and information on telephone communications and, increasingly in terms of white collar crime, Internet data efficiently can go to the heart of a...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: In this matter the designated judge has a broad role with wide-ranging powers and, with this in mind, the Minister feels it would be an imposition or potential interference with the judge's role to specify at this level what issue he should consider or what actions he might take. The designated judge must keep the operation of this Act under review, ascertain if the State bodies are...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: It is very important the Senator made that point. The provision confers significant powers on State organisations. We know from our history that unless those powers are monitored and regulated correctly, they can only lead to abuse. Cases involving previous Members of this House spring to mind in that respect. With regard to discipline, the Minister would prefer if the individual...

Seanad: Communications (Retention of Data) Bill 2009: Committee and Remaining Stages (20 Jan 2011)

Peter Power: In that spirit, I am delighted to accept what the Senator is saying. I have no wish to read out what is in front of me at present. If the amendment is withdrawn, I will be most grateful.

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