Scrap the € 1000 charge to access information concerning public enterprises that are supposedly run for the benefit of the common citizen.

The Irish concept of management has utterly failed. It has failed in both the private and the public sector. But there is an endemic culture of ‘what they do not know will not hurt them’. The Institutions of Ireland have proven themselves repeated incompetent, corrupt and in breach of both common law and common sense. And that is without bringing up the subject of fitness for purpose, and moral code of conduct. They are rife with politics, nepotism and networks of cronyism.

There is a massive accountability gap in Ireland in both the private sector and the public sector. And it starts at the very top. We need to make the people who are at the top of these enterprises/bodies/institutions thoroughly accountable.

The current charge of €1000 is a barrier to entry to the citizen who wants to know what is going on in this country. It is a transgression of the Irish Constitution. It is also a flagrant insult to the concept of democracy.

The debacle concerning FAS was all because the people at the top were certain that nobody would bother forking out the money to find out what was happening in FAS, when FAS went on junkets. The current charge is acting as a barrier to good behaviour. In fact the charge is encouraging corruption, nepotism and incompetence, on the basis that it promotes a culture of ‘we will do as we wish and they (the plebs) will not stop us’.

We need to make all state institutions models of transparency, accountability and good governance. We would then be in a better position to regulate the markets. But in Ireland regulation is a joke – because it is never enforced. It does not matter who we vote into the Dail – the state bodies are run by people who are not interested in serving the people.

In addition we also need to know who many personnel in these state sector institutions are classified as ‘management’, ‘consultants’, and ‘miscellaneous administration’. The HSE in particular is loaded with pals of Prof Drumm who have no idea what they are supposed to be doing, but are pretty good at sucking the tax revenues into their own bank accounts.

We need institutional reform. And this one step is absolutely vital to achieving it. Since the charge was introduced in 2002, there has been wholesale wastage in the state sector, and the hierarchies of nepotism have become a monster that has taken over the public sector. When asked to produce results for less money – they always cut front line services. This is stupid.

The €1000 charge has to go. Senator Shane Ross wants it to go.
We need a public campaign to have it scrapped. Immediately.

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