It’s a question this blog has been concerned with since it was founded in 2009. Today we’re publishing some new data that helps answer this question – in what we believe to be the largest database by € amount ever published containing line item State spending.
Below is €2,597,722,577 of State expenditure from 2013, obtained from 68 public bodies via the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. It shows the total for each supplier to those 68 public bodies. (Note, there are duplicates where one supplier had a relationship with more than one public body). The data shows the top 5,000 suppliers by amount to those 68 public bodies.
We tried hard to obtain the full SQL database in the possession of the Department, but they resisted us all the way to the Information Commissioner, who found against us last year. They wouldn’t even release a breakdown per public body because they said it would be too complex (and onerous) (anyone who knows SQL knows that can’t be true).
We believe there to be no barrier to the Department publishing the entire dataset, which they’ve cleaned and annotated.
We continue to work on obtaining Ministerial diaries. It took the Department of Justice more than 4 months to reply to this request – par for the course for that particular Department, and in clear breach of the FOI Act. Anyway, below is the diary of Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald for 2015.
This is part of an ongoing process to publish the diaries of Ministers going back to the inception of the FOI Act in 1998. We believe these diaries are important to publish and in previous years our archive was used by the Banking Inquiry to query such things as who the Minister for Finance was meeting with during the property boom.
Today we are publishing the last of the diaries (the year 2000) for the Minister for Finance, bringing the archive up to all 18 years of finance diaries, covering the period 1998 to 2015. All of the diaries have been OCRd and can be searched or viewed via our Document Archive.
Civil servants warned the finance minister three years ago that the “double Irish” tax loophole was damaging Ireland’s reputation and threatening its ability to defend its corporation tax rate.
In internal briefing documents released under a freedom of information request by The Times, the Department of Finance’s tax strategy group said that the “double Irish” — a tax-shifting scheme that allowed companies to reduce tax bills by transferring funds between internal companies based in Ireland and units in the Caribbean or the Netherlands — risked undermining the legitimacy of the country’s corporation tax strategy.
The documents were only released after Tighe appealed to the Information Commissioner. The Commissioner’s decision, as well as the released documents are published below.
Some time back we obtained the release below. It’s a very interesting set of various Department of Finance documents and it contains a number of elements:
1) Speaking notes for Michael Noonan for a NAMA offsite meeting in March 2015
2) NAMA’s written advice to Michael Noonan for residential delivery
3) NAMA’s suggestion that there be a Chief Government Adviser on Residential Delivery
4) A summary brochure of NAMA’s residential delivery to September 2015
5) Examples of houses for sale from NAMA projects, with sales/sq foot prices redacted
6) A September 2015 letter from NAMA to Noonan, on what NAMA can deliver
7) Project Arrow details
8) Noonan’s response to a private members bill
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