Written answers

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Data Protection

Photo of Catherine MurphyCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats)
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242. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware of the Bara judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered last month (details supplied); if the information in any of the databases assembled and processed by his Department or by Irish Water for the administration of the water charges programme was gathered using personal data previously collected and held by the State for a different purpose; if persons whose personal data was gathered in such manner have been notified of the transfer of their data to the administration of the water charges programme; if not, his views on whether all such databases are now illegal in view of the Bara judgment; the measures he proposes to address this matter; the correspondence he has had with senior management at Irish Water concerning this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41125/15]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels. Customer relations and communications are a matter for the utility and I have no functions in the matters.

The Water Services Acts 2007-2013 provide Irish Water with the power to obtain information on its customers from other third parties as listed, including a local authority, the Revenue Commissioners, the Private Residential Tenancies Board, the Property Services Regulatory Authority, the Local Government Management Agency, the Minister for Social Protection or any other person or body to be prescribed by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

Irish Water is required to manage all personal data in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. Irish Water has an on-going engagement with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner which has worked closely with Irish Water to agree the process for the capture, storage and usage of customer data. 

I am conscious of the importance of ensuring that personal information is protected in the processing of such data by all bodies and agencies under my Department, including Irish Water, and such processes will be kept under review to ensure that they comply with EU and national legislation.

Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. They may be contacted via email at or by telephone on 1890 578 578.


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