Department of Justice refuses to answer simple question

On 4 March last I phoned the office of the Minister for Justice to find out the names of the Gardai who, we are told, were disciplined for their part in the penalty points scandal.

The Department has refused to answer my question.

I was informed by the Information Ombudsman that I could make a formal complaint if no substantial reply was received after six weeks.

I have removed the name of the civil servant with whom I have been in communications with on this matter.

My complaint was made on an official form on the Ombudsman’s website hence the structure.

Which public body is your complaint about? The Department of Justice.

When did the action you are now complaining about take place? 4 March and on going.

Please tell us: What happened? Where did it happen? Who was involved? How were you affected?

The Department of Justice is, effectively, refusing to answer a question.

The sequence of events are as follows:

4 March: I emailed the following question to the Minister for Justice.

To Whom It May Concern:

It is public knowledge that a number of Gardai have been punished as a result of the penalty points controversy.
I request the name, rank, location and punishment meted out to the Gardai in question.

If this is not possible I request the regulation/legislation under which it is not possible.

Yours sincerely

Anthony Sheridan

5 March: I received the following acknowledgement.

Dear Mr Sheridan,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 4 March, 2014.
Yours sincerely,

Minister for Justice and Equality

13 March: I sent the following email to the Minister for Justice

Dear Mr.

I would be grateful if you could give a rough indication of when I could expect a reply to my email of 4 March last.

Yours sincerely
Anthony Sheridan

13 March: Received the following acknowledgement.

Dear Mr. Sheridan,

I write to acknowledge receipt of your email dated 13 March, 2014.

Yours sincerely,
Minister for Justice and Equality

20 March: Rang the Information Ombudsman and was advised that I could make a formal complaint if no substantial reply was received after six weeks.

2 April: I sent the following email to the Minister for Justice.

Dear Mr.

I would be grateful if you could give a rough indication of when I could expect a reply to my email of 4 March last.

Yours sincerely
Anthony Sheridan

2 April: Received the following acknowledgement.

Dear Mr Sheridan,

I wish to acknowledge receipt of your latest email of 02 February 14.
Your previous correspondence is currently being dealt with and a further reply will issue as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

It is now six weeks since I submitted my question without a substantial reply. This question could have been answered within an hour or, at most, within 24 hours.

It is reasonable, therefore , to assume that the Department is refusing to answer the question.

I submit my complaint.

What do you want the public body to do to put things right?

Answer the question.

1 thought on “Department of Justice refuses to answer simple question”

  1. This is a tale of disdain, and what a word. Here it instantly brings to mind an haughty, arrogant look in all its disgusting ignominy – a trait rife within the corridors of power in Cabinet and upper levels of the Irish civil service.
    Or to put it bluntly; I believe you’re dealing with scumbags.

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