A proposal – Would you like your FOI request paid for?

Dylan Haskins has been kind enough to donate €1,000 to TheStory.ie, after he was reimbursed election expenses from the 2011 general election. TheStory.ie is not a registered charity, but any funds received are declared to the revenue, and either tax is paid on it, or I will submit a PAYE “self assessment” to show that the income was spent (it is for people receiving income from sources where some or all of the tax cannot be collected under the PAYE system, for example: profits from rents, investment income, foreign income and foreign pensions, maintenance payments to separated persons, fees, profit arising on exercising various Share Options/Share Incentives). This just means that the full amount can be spent on requests.

My proposal is this: What FOI would you like to get done? Is cost a barrier? How about you propose your FOI here, and TheStory.ie helps with your request and also pays for all costs (within reason)? If you’re a student, an NGO, or just an interested citizen – leave a comment or get in touch privately – gavinsblog at gmail dot com.

The only condition is that the results of all FOI requests will be published online for everyone to see (but it can be after you do your story, should you do one).

10 thoughts on “A proposal – Would you like your FOI request paid for?”

  1. I would love to get some information relating to effective corporate tax rates in this country. The revenue have the info but it seems to be a carefully guarded secret. We all know the rate is 12.5% but we also now that some companies (most famously Google) have come clever avoidance tricks. Ryanair Also posted some very low rates in the past due to gaping holes in our current administration.
    I would like a breakdown by Industry of the level of profits created and the actual Tax collected in order to ascertain the effective rate in each industry.

    currently reports On irelands Corporation Tax vary wildly. Jim Stewert of TCD puts it close to 4% while other world bank reports had it around 11.9.
    Pearse Doherty asked Michael Noonan a parliamentary question but the minister merely reported on the different reports.
    Perhaps he forgot the actual Data was available to him from the revenue.
    Anyhow The people have a right to know.
    Its all very well having a low tax rate but if that low tax rate is able to be easily avoided then that’s just a giveaway.

    1. Be careful what you wish for. Most small open economies have competed intensely for FDI for years, giving up corp tax and contenting themselves with payroll taxes. An increasing number of large economies are now doing the same. Very few states are totally transparent about what the actuals are as distinct from headline rates. That said the actual figures would be very interesting.

  2. I’d like to do an FOI request on the contract negotiations for the M50 toll management contract. I suspect that penalties are carefully modeled and forecasted into the profits of the private partner and the penalty system is intentionally designed to maximize driver errors. Further, I suspect that bike lanes or a bike path were pro-actively shot down. Considering a class action suit myself. . .

  3. An FOI into RTE expenditure and approvals.

    * Costs of broadcasting the Gerry Ryan Funeral and related events, who authorized them and who was paid.
    * Costs of broadcasting the Michaela McAreavey (Harte) funeral and related events, who authorized them and who was paid.

    * Payments made by RTE for guests and contributors to the Marian Finucane show, including Mark Little’s Storyful.

    * Information on authorization of any books authored by RTE staff that relied on the use of RTE resources, time, or materials. Who obtained royalties from the book, and how much?

  4. I would like to know how many active cases and lawsuits have been parked in the Office of the Chief State Solicitor for more than ten years, broken down by Government Department.

  5. FOIR Ideas :-
    1. I’d like to know how much gold Ireland has.
    2. Newest expenses for whatever department would fund the reprinting of the punt should that occur.
    3. As an independent activist I’d love to know if I’m on the no fly list for the US. Can you FOIR the US embassy? just an idea.
    4. I’d be interested to know the figures for an courts or gardai which are listed as for profit organisations. Do they make a profit? Technically it’s CRO but a similar cost.

    I have so many more 🙂

  6. I would like to see an FOI into expenditure in RTE.
    * Let’s see a breakdown in expenses for RTE PrimeTime, especially around the time of their flawed investigation in to Fr Kevin Reynolds.
    * Expenses and payments made in connection with the broadcasting of the Gerry Ryan and Michaela Harte funerals.
    * Correspondence explaining why Storyful are continually featured on Marian Finuncane’s show and any payments to that party.

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