I sought from the Department of Transport:
1) Any and all communications between the Department and the Minister (and vice versa) from January 4, 2010 to January 10, 2010, inclusive. This may take the form of emails or notes of phone calls, or any other form of communication.
I received a series of emails sent from his office (Veronica Scanlan) to the Minister’s personal email address. There is no evidence in the release that Mr Dempsey sent any email to the Department during the course of his holiday in Malta. The fact that he’s using a personal email account is in itself curious, especially in regard to what is, and is not, subject to the Act.
Contrary, I believe, to the Act, redactions have been applied to the documents without any stated exemption being used. Information contained in the released has been blacked out, without even an explanation. The Department also said no logs are kept of phonecalls, so none exist. This may revolve around the use of the word ‘logs’ as oppose to ‘itemised phonebills’ perhaps. I will be following this up at internal review.
So it seems we have this: The Minister’s secretary forwarded some emails, press releases, news articles to the Minister’s personal email address while he was on holidays. That would appear to be extent of the Minister keeping fully briefed on the situation.