Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Seán Fleming has said the exclusion of the Irish Water from the government’s new Freedom of Information legislation is a “glaring omission that must be addressed.”

Speaking following a committee hearing on the General Scheme of the Freedom of Information Bill 2012 Deputy Fleming commented: “The fact that this legislation will not extend to Irish Water is a serious error and I am calling on Minister Brendan Howlin to address this in the drafting of the bill.

“In establishing Irish Water the government is creating a new state monopoly which will derive 100% of its income from the general public, if the government presses ahead with water charges.  The public have a right to know how this company will operate, the costs it will incur and the charges and rationale for the charging scheme it will be levelling on the public.  For this to be guaranteed, Irish Water must come under the remit of Freedom of Information.

“If the Minister does not deal with this glaring omission in the legislation Fianna Fáil will be bringing forward the necessary amendments to do so.  While I welcome the legislation it is extremely important that the public have access to information on Irish Water and there is transparency at the heart of its operation.”