That sign-in thing

So some cheeky journalist has apparently sought details of how often Members of the Oireachtas actually go to work. It is expected to be released around now. One Member of the Seanad was not happy about this at all though. Senator Michael McCarthy (Labour) said [emphasis mine]:

There has been a huge chipping away at the terms and conditions of Deputies and Senators and at those of their colleagues on cash-strapped local authorities. After the introduction of the swiping system on 1 March, one would have imagined that journalists’ appetites regarding where Members are and what they are doing would have abated somewhat. However, a freedom of information request has been made, the response to which, incidentally, will cost the State money, as to how many people swiped and how often they swiped for a two-week period in March. Given the enormous economic difficulties faced by thousands of people, one would imagine that journalists’ time would be better spent in concentrating on the real issues.

Ah yes, the real issues. Down with those media types, trying to bring greater accountability to the parliament.

For my own purposes, I will be seeking the results of that FOI, writing a fresh one, and then possibly integrating attendance records into I wonder what Mr McCarthy will think of that.

Terrible costly for the Oireachtas to click a few buttons, and export a spreadsheet, so it is. I do have another FOI in with them which has been extended by four weeks. More on that later in May.

2 thoughts on “That sign-in thing”

  1. cost the State money? the swipe machine should automatically publish this info to the web if we want real accountability (or is this information “commercially sensitive”?)

  2. Miriam Lord in the Irish Times last Saturday had a great quote from a rural deputy: “now that our attendance is computerised it’s going to provide a whole new area for journalists to examine. It’s pure daft – how will anyone get re-elected if they have to spend so much time above in Leinster House? They won’t be able to get away for as much as a dog-fight or a funeral.”

    In 30-odd words, this anonymous rural deputy has unwittingly told a profound and depressing truth about how TDs get elected. Forget about Leinster House, forget about intelligent debate in the Dáil chamber, forget about valuable legislative and committee work. To get elected you have to be seen at every dog-fight and funeral in your constituency.

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