As part of our look at Cabinet papers now available under Section 19 (3) (b) of the FOI Act, I sought some briefing papers for the Taoiseach for Cabinet meetings in April and May 1998. Some of the redactions refer directly to the Constitutional protection of Cabinet “discussion”. I will publish the schedule of redactions shortly. My favourite bits:
In the briefing papers for April 28, 1998, in reference to the plans for LUAS:
We are anxious to avoid discussion by Government of the proposal in the presence of the consultants lest it lead to a public perception that the consultants are driving the decision process.
Or discussion of the Copyright Amendment Bill:
The matter is urgent because it is an essential part of an arrangement between the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment and the U.S. Trade Authorities, the object of which was to persuade the U.S. Authorities not to proceed with an infringement action against Ireland in the World Trade Organisation.
In briefing papers for May 12, 1998, in reference to proposed ESB price increases:
Despite the good performance, the ESB still wish to implement the third phase of a price increase which was part of the CCR agreement accepted by the previous Government. The Department are of the view that this is not warranted as it was based on projected profits of £31 m in 1998. Profits will be at least £160m this year without a price increase.
The set of released documents is here: