In 2010 the HSE noted nineteen deaths over the same period. Primetime that evening never left me for some reason. Not that there was anything unique but probably because it was the same as every one before. Various departments not or unable to share information was trotted out as the major cause in failing these children. Gardaí and the HSE. Welfare and the HSE. The HSE and another part of the HSE and so on.
Assurances were given.
This week Phil “won’t get away with it” Hogan was throwing his weight around and even threatening to change legislation in his effort to collect the household tax. Last month Social Protection Minister Joan Burton made a great play of the “crackdown” on welfare and the shadow economy. A Special Investigation Unit was rolled out and in 2012 computers were talking to each other and everything through the magic of data matching.
- Various state agencies and bodies are continuing to provide information to the Department of Social Protection which can be used to data match and cross check at initial claim stage and for on-going eligibility for entitlement.
- Regular data matches occur with the Revenue Commissioners on commencement of employment and the General Register’s Office on birth, marriages and deaths. Other examples of on-going co-operation include data matching and sharing of information from:
- The Irish Prison Service provides information with increased frequency and the Private Security Authority provides the Department with data for control purposes.
- The Department of Education and Skills: provides student data.
- The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: the Commission for Taxi Regulation provides data on taxi/hackney licences.
- Department of Environment, Community & Local Government: information on registered landlords from the Private Residential Tenancies Board is matched against the Department’s payments systems.
- HSE: information is provided about persons who are registered for the Fair Deal Scheme.
- Data matching is a very effective method of identifying high risk claims for review and is an example of good cross-departmental co-operation. Existing legislation provides that relevant information can be matched in specific once-off targeted operations or through one-to-one data exchanges for a particular case. There is also good cross-border co-operation with the relevant agencies in Northern Ireland, the UK and in the wider EU regarding control investigations.
So again, we should be thankful this report will get a proper airing at a later date. Government have shown they are eager to get communication and information flowing on the important issues.